Strengthening Balinese Women’s Inheritance Rights

Bali Sruti


During Dutch colonial rule in Indonesia, strict laws were implemented that forbade women from inheriting property and instituted a strict system of patriarchal lineage.  Recently the Indonesian government has reinstated its traditional policy, wherein women are legally entitled to property and inheritance rights. Yet many women remain largely unaware that the laws have changed and consequently, have not been able to fully enjoy their legal inheritance rights. In 2010, The Cultural Community Leader’s Organization (Majelis Desa Pakraman or MDP) – the highest cultural and religion organization in Bali – raised the issue at their summit and the need to implement a socialization campaign to raise awareness about women’s inheritance rights. 

Program Summary

Bali Sruti will address this problem by raising awareness about Indonesia’s new inheritance law. This project will entail three key activities:

  1. Workshop on Balinese Women’s Inheritance Rights, which will convene 50 cultural and religious leaders, participants from the Hindu Woman Organization, academics, lawyers, and the media to discuss the most effective approach for implementing the recommendations of the MDP summit in 2010.

  2. Socialization for Cultural and Religious Leaders. Under the supervision of the provincial MDP, cultural and religious leaders will lead district-level socialization workshops for 450 peers in 9 districts. This activity aims to effectively implement the new inheritance laws and the recommendations of the 2010 MDP summit using a long-term socialization strategy.

  3. Community Socialization. The program will reach out to the broader community through media platforms such as televised advertisements, print media, and radio spots. This phase of the program will also entail creating a “Guidance Book” with information on traditional laws regarding inheritance, marriage, divorce, and the status of unmarried women. 


Through this program, religious and cultural leaders in Bali will gain a better understanding of the new inheritance law, which will translate into greater societal acceptance of women’s property rights as a whole. In addition to providing raising awareness among lawyers and law enforcement, outreach activities are expected to reach Banjar leaders at the community level, who play a key role in mediating families’ inheritance process. Furthermore, advertisements, printed media, radio spots, and the Guidance Book will also raise awareness among the general population of Bali and provide women with key information for claiming their rights. 


  • Majelis Desa Pekraman (MDP)
  • Majelis Madya Desa Pekraman (MMDP)
  • Bendesa Adat
  • Notary/Solicitor Association
  • The Legal Law Institute for women’s rights (LBH APIK)
  • Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Bali (Bali Chapter of Law Institute for Justice)  

Project Details

Program Status:Active

Program Type:Grantee

Region:East Asia & Pacific

Program Countries:Indonesia

Dates:June 1, 2015 - February 1, 2016

Rule of Law Index Factors: Fundamental Rights (Factor 4), Regulatory Enforcement (Factor 6), Civil Justice (Factor 7), and Informal Justice (Factor 9).

Issue Areas: Faith, Human Rights, and Women and Girls.