In an important social change, female Muslim political leaders in Java have enjoyed considerable success in direct local elections following the fall of Suharto in Indonesia. Indonesian Women and Local Politics shows that Islam, gender and social networks have been decisive in their political victories. Islamic ideas concerning female leadership provide a strong religious foundation for their political campaigns. However, their approach to women's issues shows that female leaders do not necessarily adopt a woman's perspectives when formulating policies. This new trend of Muslim women in politics will continue to shape the growth and direction of democratization in local politics in post-Suharto Indonesia and will colour future discourse on gender, politics and Islam in contemporary Southeast Asia. Includes 10 B&W photographs and 1 map.