The institution of nyai, or female religious leaders in pesantren, Islamic boarding school community of East Java, Indonesia, has been overlooked despite their significant roles. Their voices regarding women''s issues are also unheard while they pose strategic position in shaping gender discourse in traditionalist Muslim community in Indonesia. This book is one of the few works specifically to study the discourse and functions of nyai in a gender context. The study will assess three aspects: first, nyai''s leadership, second, nyai''s attitudes on gender issues, such as polygamy, domestic violence and the state laws regarding marriage and violence in household; and third, the varieties of nyai discourse in promoting particular gender views to the broader Muslim community. Whether nyai can be agents of progressive gender education in the pesantren community or vice versa is the key question. The work provides indicator for measuring the development of gender awareness in pesantren community. This book is valuable for students and lecturers in gender studies, Asian studies, anthropologists, and those who have interest in women''s issues in general.