‘In this powerful and subtle book, Rachel Brulé combs through an array of micro-level data for clues regarding the causes of and obstacles to gender inequality in India. One of her most stunning findings is that femicide actually increases when gender-equal inheritance laws are enforced – unless families are freed from the expectation that a daughter's property is forfeited to in-laws upon marriage. This book is a triumph of social science and a model for empirical scholarship on gender.'
Frances McCall Rosenbluth - Yale University, Connecticut
‘Brulé's study breaks new ground in exploring the economic effects of women's political representation. Her ‘gatekeeper' theory shows how the presence of female officials in local governments in India shapes whether women are able to access their rights and improve their economic status. The result is a clear illustration that meaningful change for women requires shifts in social norms and practices – not just in formal legal reforms.'
Melani Cammett - Harvard University, Massachusetts
‘The study of property rights is undergoing a resurgence in political science. Rachel Brulé's stunning new book is at the forefront of this movement. Expertly combining the best tools of area studies and modern social science, Brulé shows how increases in women's political representation have altered social and property relations in India. Anyone interested in how low status groups can challenge a deeply entrenched status quo should read this book.'
Timothy M. Frye - Columbia University, New York