The Indonesian Muslim women ulema congress in 2017 marked the first gathering of female scholars, to address gender issues within the Islamic world, and their religious authority. Through a study of the role of women within Muslim reformist movements in the first decades of the 20th century, my goal is to depict the close linkage between reformist ideas within the Malay world and its impact on women condition. Situating the historiographical stakes of this issue on the scale of the Muslim world, my research aims to question the exceptionality of this investment of women in the religious sphere, and to update the human circulation at the heart of religious legitimacy issues.