Women could not whirl in front of an audience to join the Sufi ‘Sema’ Ceremony until about 10 years ago as it was considered a sin; today more than 20 female dervishes whirl with men.
The Mevlevi Order, or the Mevlevilik or Mevleviye (Persian: ?????? - Molav?yeh) are a Sufi order founded in Konya (in present-day Turkey) by the followers of Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi-Rumi, a 13th century Persian poet, Islamic jurist, and theologian. They are also known as the Whirling Dervishes due to their famous practice of whirling as a form of dhikr (remembrance of God). Dervish is a common term for an initiate of the Sufi path; the whirling is part of the formal Sama ceremony and the participants are properly known as semazen-s.
In 2005, UNESCO proclaimed the "The Mevlevi Sema Ceremony" of Turkey as amongst the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.