They can work within sanctions which is nothing like those in Bretonnia. All boys and girls who develop magical talents (and are not send away to the Imperial Colleges) are taken away by the Fey Enchantress and only a handful of the females taken return 'brainwashed' and trained. In the Empire, everyone who (admittedly isn't burned) is send to the colleges, giving the Empire access to a very large potential of magic users. Its not perfect, but with witchhunters to keep them in check so they don't go rogue.
In Bretonnia the ladies can actually topple a government should the Fey Enchantress will it. (they did, the King was send away and a Grail Knight took his place).