What is it about?

The study explores the intersections of gender and ethnicity as a point of inquiry in the emerging roles of Meranao women who work in the field of leadership. Drawing on qualitative interviews with seven Meranao women leaders in Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur, in The Philippines, this paper examines the multilayered issues and challenges these women face in their roles as leaders, as they leap into higher decision-making positions. I articulate the ideologies that shape their leadership experiences and their performative repertoires, and examine the ways in which they are able to perform their leadership roles given their opportunities and constraints. Finally, the study describes the agentic pathways the women traverse to effect leadership in Meranao politics and socio-political development. Results show that intersectional approaches to investigating leadership, taking into account interconnected and overlapping factors of gender and ethnicity, can not only reveal the issues and challenges women leaders face, but also the individual agencies and strategies they use to overcome such constraints.

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Why is it important?

The intersectionality approach challenges essentialist framings of leadership, and emphasizes an individual’s social location, as reflected in the intersecting identities of these Meranao women. This intersectionality, as I reveal, allows for the emergence of a negotiated form of leadership among women, which requires a delicate balance between meeting social expectations as women and fulfilling roles as leaders.

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This page is a summary of: Intersectionalities of gender, ethnicity, and leadership in the narratives of Meranao women in the Philippines, Journal of Asian Pacific Communication, August 2022, John Benjamins, DOI: 10.1075/japc.00088.gen.
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