Dealing with Institutional Sexism: the Coping Strategies of Hong Kong Clergywomen

Carloine Yih* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Clergywomen in the male sphere of the deeply patriarchal and hierarchical church system are exposed to many types of gender maltreatment requiring them to constantly adapt and manage the challenges in their role. In this article, I examine how Hong Kong clergywomen cope when facing gravely oppressive and marginalising gender maltreatment at work. I identify four primary types of coping strategies: tolerance, defying the status quo, seeking external support, and quitting. Collectively, these coping behaviours are utilised by women ministers to endure and fulfil their ministerial callings in the face of discriminatory and oppressive actions of their colleagues. The article aims to raise awareness and draw attention to the prevailing conditions of institutional sexism within the church and to the need to address the enduring impacts of wounds inflicted on clergywomen.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33–47
Number of pages15
JournalPastoral Psychology
Early online date7 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Open Access via the Springer Compact Agreement


  • Institutional sexism
  • Clergywomen
  • Church
  • Coping strategies
  • Hong Kong


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