People

Shamans, nuns and judges

The lives of Asia’s female religious leaders

by Nursheila Muez

Many of history’s most influential religious leaders — Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, Gautama Buddha, Adi Shankara, and Confucius — are men. Is this gender imbalance an inherent flaw of religion itself? And is the rising trend of women in Asia taking on religious leadership positions part of a new phenomenon propelled by the global feminist movement?

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This story is written in collaboration with
Nursheila Muez

Nursheila Muez is the co-editor of AKAR, a Singapore-based independent magazine that features stories and histories of Southeast Asia. She loves reading, the smell of books and bread, a good cup of teh tarik, and picking dried leaves with her son. When she grows old, she will turn her home into a community library for children.

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