Jewish and Muslim women seeking to claim certain rights in the religious realm in France today, such as access to religious study, ritual space and public religious roles, are confronted with obstacles to gender justice both in Orthodox Judaism and in mainstream Islam. In this article, I begin by taking a brief look at strategies used by women in other countries to curtail male monopolies while remaining inside Orthodox Judaism and mainstream Islam: creating all-female spaces, partnering with men and advancing from within hegemonic institutions. These have produced new religious functions for women, including women imams and female Orthodox rabbis, Jewish and Muslim female spiritual guides (maharat, murshidat), women experts and counselors in Islamic and Jewish law (alimat, yo‘atzot halakhah), Jewish legal advocates (to‘anot rabbaniyot) and female judges (qadiya) in shari‘a courts. I then survey the situation in France, where few such innovations have taken hold. I conclude by suggesting some explanations for their absence (in Orthodox Judaism) or their very slow evolution (in Islam) in the French context.