In this article, we aim to contribute to feminist academic debates about multiculturalism and secularism/religion by drawing upon an analysis of an ethnic minority women’s organisation in Belgium that has been active since 1999: ella. The analysis focuses upon the way in which ella constructs notions of empowerment and emancipation by discussing structural inequalities, cultural-ethnic values and religious authority and identity. First, we look at how ella formulates its ideas about the emancipation trajectories of minoritised women and the potential role of religious belonging. Second, we look at ella’s discussion of religious interpretation and gender/sexual diversity. Here, we explore assumptions about the relationship between religious authority and minoritised women’s and LGBTQs’ desires and pursuit for knowledge. We conclude by considering ella as an affirmative-critical actor of multiculturalism, and an implicit agent of religious reform.
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- ethnic minority women’s organisation