Islamic leadership is commonly associated with men. But this view is too simplistic. In Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world, women have been active as religious teachers, preachers, judges in religious courts, and leaders of Islamic political parties and associations. What impact do these women have on debates about Islam and the position of women? In recent years, observers (both inside and outside academia) have paid considerable attention to progressive Islamic organizations and the development of a ‘Muslim’ feminism’. Much less is known about the role of female leaders in more conservative religious settings. This lecture focuses on the role of female ulama (religious scholars) in the Indonesian province of Aceh, a place known historically for the strong presence of political Islam, and their stances towards the struggle for gender equality.