The Celestial Church of Christ, the Christ Apostolic Church, and the Church of the Lord (Aladura) are indigenous churches, which share the selective blending of Christian and Yoruba religious traditions; however, their gender practices, specifically female access to decision-making roles, vary dramatically. The Celestial Church's prohibition against the ordination of women is associated with ritual impurity. Christ Apostolic excludes women from ordination, but without an explicit ideology of impurity. The Church of the Lord (Aladura) ordains women but prohibits them from the sanctuary when they are menstruating. Do these institutionalised constraints derive from colonial or pre-colonial gender practices? What other factors might contribute to these gender patterns? This paper argues that these gender practices derive from intersecting ambiguities in Western and African gender practices, which both empower and disempower women. The paper also assesses the interplay of doctrine and institutional history on gender dynamics. Finally, it explores the interaction of cultural legacy and socio-environmental pressures on the ritualisation of the female body in this African setting.