Indonesia recently reinstated women’s equal property and inheritance rights that were denied during Dutch rule, though most citizens are unaware that the laws have changed. This program is raising awareness about these newly reinstated rights by engaging cultural and religious leaders in workshops; producing spot advertisements; and creating a guide book on marriage, divorce, and female inheritance.


Bali Srutil
Bali Sruti Website 

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. However, 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 recognized the need to implement a socialization campaign to raise awareness about women’s inheritance rights. 

Program Summary

Bali Sruti is addressing this problem by raising awareness about Indonesia’s new inheritance law. This project entails three key activities:

  1. Workshop on Balinese Women’s Inheritance Rights, which convenes 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 from the MDP summit in 2010.

  2. Socialization for Cultural and Religious Leaders. Under the supervision of the provincial MDP, cultural and religious leaders are leading 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 is reaching out to the broader community through media platforms such as televised advertisements, print media, and radio spots. This phase of the program also entails 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 are gaining 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 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 are also raising awareness among the general population 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)  

Program Details

East Asia & Pacific