Queens in the Kings Business: African Pentecostal Female Leadership in a European City

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This article explores ethnographically how African Pentecostal leaders in the city of The Hague in the Netherlands navigate patriarchal structures and create a space for female leadership. It argues that the female Pentecostal leaders make a gender paradox visible, in which they model Christian womanhood in order to then go legitimately beyond it. The article demonstrates that this becomes particularly visible in how female leaders engage with women in their congregations around matters of gendered and sexual well-being. The article challenges a double bias in research and policy: a secular bias that tends to explain the challenges around gender and sexuality primarily in religious and cultural terms; and a gender bias that only considers religious women’s leadership in terms of their agency as women in male-dominated institutional contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalNew Diversities
Issue number2
Early online date27-Oct-2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • sexuality, religion, secularity, gender, leadership

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