Book

Women, power, and property: the paradox of gender equality laws in India (2020)

in: Cambridge studies in gender and politics

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Abstract

Quotas for women in government have swept the globe. Yet we know little about their capacity to upend entrenched social, political, and economic hierarchies. ​Property and Power seeks to explore this issue within the context of India, the world's largest democracy. Brulé uses cutting-edge research design and extensive field research to make connections among political representation, backlash, and economic empowerment. Her findings show that women in government catalyze access to fundamental economic rights: property rights. Women in politics also have the power to support constituent rights at critical junctures, such as marriage negotiations, sparking integrative solutions to intra-household bargaining. Although they can lead to backlash, quotas are essential for enforcement ​of rights. In this groundbreaking study, Brulé shows how quotas can operate as a crucial tool to foster equality and benefit the women they are meant to empower.