The Balinese woman “wanita” and her great capacity of reinvention

The Balinese woman “wanita” and her great capacity of reinvention

International Women's Day on 8 March is a wonderful opportunity to recognize and celebrate the strong, courageous and warmaking women from around the world. As Bali Life is a brand 100% born and raised in Bali, we’d like to dedicate this post to all the brave “wanita” or, in other words, the Balinese women.


The traditional role of Balinese women

The traditional role of the Balinese woman has been primarily focused on managing the household and family responsibilities. In Balinese culture, women are expected to be nurturing and caring for their families, including cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the children. 

In addition to their domestic duties, women in Bali also have an important role in the community. They are often involved in religious and cultural ceremonies, such as temple offerings and traditional dances. Women also have a role in the local economy, such as working in agriculture, construction and handicrafts.

The adaptation of Balinese women to modern times

Balinese women have now risen from the traditional cocoon. With the rise of tourism and globalization, Balinese women have started to embrace new opportunities and roles in society beyond the patriarchal standards.

One of the most significant changes is the rise of education for Balinese women. Many young Balinese women now have access to education and are pursuing careers in various fields such as law, medicine, and business. Education has given Balinese women a greater sense of independence and has allowed them to challenge traditional gender roles.

Another change is the emergence of women entrepreneurs in Bali. Women-run businesses are becoming increasingly common, ranging from small handicraft stores to larger businesses in the tourism industry. These women are contributing to the economy and playing an active role in shaping the future of Bali.

Balinese women have also started to challenge cultural norms around marriage and family. While arranged marriages and early marriage used to be common, more and more women are choosing to marry later or remain unmarried to focus on their careers. Some women are also choosing to have fewer children or delaying having children to focus on their education and careers.

That being said, Balinese women never really parted from their traditional roots and duties and they now balance their personal, ceremonial and career life. They manage to exhibit great perseverance and above all beauty and elegance even during the most challenging times. Overall, the Balinese woman is a symbol of strength, resilience, and creativity, and is truly deserving of recognition and celebration on International Women's Day.

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