Women’s Political Participation in Indonesia: Decentralisation, Money Politics and Collective Memory in Bali

Elizabeth Rhoads


This article contends that cultural, political and historical factors create a local political environment where de facto discrimination against women is the norm. Without thoroughly addressing and altering the underlying issues causing discrimination against women in politics, a weak quota system will not immediately lead to increased women’s participation in Bali. This paper argues that the leading factors contributing to low levels of Balinese women’s participation include widespread money politics, the revitalisation of customary institutions and local identities through decentralisation, and the collective memory of the violent dissolution of the Indonesian Women’s Movement (Gerwani) in 1965–66.

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