Rachel E BruléFeb 23, 2022
Women, Power, and Property
The Paradox of Gender Equality Laws in India
Cambridge University Press 2020
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. Women, Power, and Property: The Paradox of Gender Equality Laws in India (Cambridge UP, 2020) has been awarded the APSA’s 2021 Luebbert Prize for the Best Book in Comparative Politics.
Dr. Rachel Brule is Assistant Professor of Global Development Policy at Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies and Graduate Faculty with BU’s Department of Political Science, a Core Faculty at the Global Development Policy Center, and affiliated faculty with the Institute for Economic Development.
Sohini Chatterjee is a PhD Student in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies at Western University, Canada. Her work has recently appeared in Women's Studies: An inter-disciplinary journal, South Asian Popular Culture and Fat Studies.