This paper discusses women’s governance of urban marketplaces in the southern West Africa. I investigate changes of women’s citizenship in public marketplaces and female leaders’ authority and influence on the governance of these political spaces focussing on the leader’ ability to produce and enforce rules and regulations. Furthermore, I discuss the definition, applicability and the appropriateness of the “hybrid governance” concept framing it with literature on state-formation processes, governance and legal processes. I apply a literature review of historical and recent material on women and governance of public marketplaces in West Africa (Okonjo’s “Dual-sex political system) and finally discuss the case of the Dantokpa market using own fieldwork data from 2006-2008. I argue that structural changes in the colonial and the post-colonial period in some ways have curtailed women as authorities and managers of the markets. In other ways however, market women have reinterpreted own and appropriated local, national and international institutions, and hereby influenced and revitalized gendered institutions of authority in the marketplaces.