Balinese Women Inheritance Rights Should be in “Perarem”

The regulation on Balinese women inheritance rights decided at Pesamuhan Agung III Customary Village Grand Council (MUDP) is expected to be immediately arranged in “perarem” or collective agreement in each customary village.

“We hope that the ‘bendesa’ (chief of customary village could immediately put this regulation in ‘perarem’ and ‘awig-awig’ (written regulation, not only for Denpasar but also all over Bali. It happens because women position in inheriting is a progressive legal construction,” said Secretary of Denpasar Customary Village Council (MMDP)Dr Anak Agung Ketut Sudiana in a discussion about women inheritance rights in Denpasar.

Based on the result of Pesamuhan Agung III held on October 15 2010, put in the Pronouncement of Pesamuhan Agung MUDP Bali Nomber 01/KEP/PSM-3/MDP Bali/X/2010, it has been arranged a new regulation related to women (predana) right as a heir.

The heirs who get married outside their area and have the status of predana or not staying at home, which in Balinese term is called”ninggal kadaton terbatas”, have the rights on one-third of their parents’ work (result of working) after taking out one-third for “duwe tengah” or the cost of parents treatment. “Or in other words, women get half of the inheritance accepted by their brother who have status of ‘purusa’,” he said.

While, the heirs categorized as “ninggal kedaton penuh” or change their religion, don’t have any rights on the inheritance, but they could get cash.

“By putting this on each village regulation, we don’t see the law as a neutral law but it could be gender based. Thus, Balinese women rights on inheriting could be happening,” he said in the discussion held by Bali Sruti, Kemitraan, and MMDP Denpasar.

He didn’t deny that for pure implementation, it’s not only stopped on customary village regulation, but there is also possibility that problem will appear on each family obligation that still have thought of immaterial inheritance.

Meanwhile, Nayaka (expert team) of Bali Customary Villages Grand Council (MUDP) Prof Dr I Nyoman Budiana said that in fact women often only become the object in inheriting, especially among Balinese community that has patrilineal kinship philosophy.

“Many of previous regulation based on prediction of religious values that is actually fair for women. However, along with increasing value of land in Bali, it creates arrogance from men to take control of the inheritance themselves,” he said.

According to him, before the Pesamuhan Agung decision, what is applied id values of religious law in the context of “kapurusa” that inheritance is given to the male heir, while the female one only get the innate property (tatadan) in which the portion depends on the male heir position.

“On the other hand, inheritance (heritage or from ancestors) belongs to purusa or male because in Hindu he has the material and immaterial obligation in the family,” he said.

Prof Budiana who is also the Chief of Panjer Customary Village, said that he will put the inheritance regulation immediately in ‘perarem’ in their village so that there is no more discrimination toward children in a family.

The discussion entitled “Forum Koordinasi dan Implementasi Keputusan MUDP, Kedudukan Perempuan Bali Dalam Keluarga dan Pewarisan” (Forum of Coordination and Implementation of MUDP Decision, Balinese Women Position in A Family and Inheritance) was attended by all bendesa and representatives of “kelihan” (Chief of customary region) in Denpasar.

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