Empower Indigenous Women for Equality
Empower Indigenous Women for Equality
One of the Largest networking umbrella organizations in Nepal
One of the Largest networking umbrella organizations in Nepal
About Us
About Us

Indigenous women of Nepal face multiple forms of discrimination. Indigenous women, being indigenous peoples, face racial, linguistic, religious, cultural, economic, political discrimination and exclusion. Also, indigenous women, being women, face gender discrimination. Thus, indigenous women are victimized by ideologies, policies and practices of Bahunbad (Brahmanism) and patriarchy.

Empowerment and strengthening of indigenous women is a must to end all forms of racial and gender discrimination, exploitation, suppression and oppression against indigenous women. Acceptance of multi-caste and ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-cultural reality of Nepali society by the people’s movement of 1990 has indeed paved a way for non-governmental organizations to contribute for empowerment and strengthening of indigenous peoples, women and other excluded groups and communities. There was growing realization for a need of organized efforts by indigenous women to make development programs for women and indigenous peoples successful, to organize and empower indigenous women from local to national levels on common issues of women, and to work for equity and equality by having common objectives on women’s common issues. It was in this backdrop that the National Indigenous Women Forum (NIWF) was founded in 1998.

There are not only common problems and issues of indigenous women and other women and also of indigenous women and indigenous men but also distinct problems and issues that are unique to indigenous women. Therefore, the National Indigenous Women Forum (NIWF) was established to support and raise awareness of indigenous women, to intensify advocacy for securing rights of indigenous women and indigenous children, and to run programs with focus on advocacy, training, discussion, interaction, study, and research as needed.

Empowering Women
Our objective is to empower Indigenous Women to become the primary defenders and proponents for securing their rights, as previously highlighted in the GR-39 and CEDAW reports from past years. By doing so, we aim to capacitate Indigenous Women and provide them with the necessary tools and knowledge to advocate for their rights and achieve gender equality in their communities.
Our Misson
Advocate ensuring the rights of highly marginalized and endangered indigenous people particularly women.
Promoting the social, cultural, political and economical rights of indigenous women
Intervening in areas where Indigenous women needs support by finding out and assessing the social situation of indigenous women.
Assisting Indigenous women in mobilizing resources from local, national and other sources so as to make them economically independent.
To increase awareness level of people on the issues of indigenous women widely through publications of different types of publications.
To organize exploited and marginalized women so that they are able to understand their rights and work to ensure their rights and aware the community on various issues such trafficking of women.
Empower Indigenous Women:
Our Work
What We Do
‍NIWF’s support indigenous women to be an equal partner in the national development.
Human Rights
To advance human rights especially of Indigenous women and girls, NIWF ensures its meaningful and result-oriented engagement from grassroots to policy-making levels.
Climate Justice
NIWF acknowledges Indigenous Women’s roles in promoting biodiversity, and the disproportionate impact of climate change on them. Hence, NIWF’s initiatives promote climate justice.
Youth Initiative
NIWF puts a special focus on raising awareness, developing capacity and leadership and ensuring meaningful participation of Indigenous young girls.
NIWF works on the documentation of Indigenous knowledge, skills, technologies, ways of life and many through producing documentaries, radio programmes and print media.
Research & Publication
For evidence-based and well-informed advocacy, NIWF conducts empirical research work as well as policy reviews.
NIWF lobbies politicians, lawmakers, and other concerned stakeholders, and at regional and international platforms for ensuring the rights of Indigenous women and making the state responsible and accountable.
Economic Empowerment
Since economic empowerment of women is one of the keys to gender equality, NIWF contributes to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 5 through empowering women economically.
Leadership Development & Advocacy
One of the major key interventions of NIWF is strengthening capacity, developing leadership and advocacy skills of Indigenous women and girls.
Our News
Latest Updates
2024-02-13 17:04:10
Focused Group Discussion in Chautara, Sindhupalchowk: NIWF Empowering Indigenous Returnee Migrant Women

In a dedicated effort to support Indigenous Returnee Migrant Women (IRMW), the National Indigenous Women Forum (NIWF) participated in the APWLD Feminist Participatory Action Research (FPAR) initiative. As part of this project, NIWF’s Young Researcher Sabnam Lama and Field Coordinator Sanila Lama traveled to Chautara Ward no. 5, Sindhupalchowk, to conduct a transformative Focused Group Discussion (FGD) and establish an organized group of IRMW in the area.

The FGD served as a platform for the IRMW and local coordinators to engage in meaningful discussions, aiming to address critical issues faced by women reintegrating into society after foreign employment. The training focused on the 9 Principles of FPAR, ensuring that the research process is participatory, inclusive, and driven by the needs and aspirations of the IRMW community.

Moreover, the participants were educated on the principles of Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC), confidentiality, and voluntary participation, emphasizing the importance of ethical research practices and protecting the rights and privacy of individuals.

A significant aspect of the training was equipping the IRMW with documentation skills through photos and videos. Participants learned various techniques, such as capturing portraits, landscapes, medium shots, close-up shots, long-shot, and landscape videos. This newfound ability to document their experiences and perspectives empowers the IRMW to share their stories and advocate for their needs effectively.

The FGD was conducted in two groups, each facilitated by Young Researcher Sabnam Lama and Local Coordinator Supriya Shrestha. Topics explored included the challenges and opportunities of reintegrating into society after foreign employment, the role of local government in supporting IRMW and generating safer guidelines for Potential Migrant Women.

At the conclusion of the training, an IRMW group was formally established, named “Chautara Laganshil Adiwasi Mahila Samuha,” under the facilitation of Local Coordinator Supriya Shrestha. This group holds the promise of becoming a powerful collective voice for IRMW in the region, advocating for their rights, well-being, and meaningful inclusion in society.

NIWF’s commitment to the APWLD Feminist Participatory Action Research initiative exemplifies its dedication to empowering Indigenous women and supporting their journeys as returnee migrant workers. Through research, documentation, and community engagement, NIWF aims to foster positive change and create an environment where the voices and experiences of IRMW are heard, valued, and acted upon.

2024-02-13 17:02:41
Assessing Nepal’s Progress on Human Rights: NIWF and Mukta Kamalari Bikash Manch Collaborate with Mama Cash Fund

With the invaluable support of the Mama Cash Fund, the National Indigenous Women Forum (NIWF) and the Mukta Kamalari Bikash Manch (Dang) joined forces for a crucial Assessment of Nepal’s Implementation of the 3rd Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Recommendations. The assessment delved into critical issues encompassing climate change and gender equality, trafficking, bonded labor, women’s inclusion and participation, and the rights of indigenous peoples.

The Mid-Term Assessment for the UPR was presented by Professor Hom Prasad Yamphu Rai, a respected lecturer in Anthropology at Tribhuvan University. NIWF’s Vice Chairperson, Yasso Kanti Bhattachan, skillfully moderated the Open Floor Discussion during the assessment.

The collaboration between NIWF and Mukta Kamalari Bikash Manch, with the support of Mama Cash, underscores the importance of collective efforts in promoting human rights and addressing pressing social challenges. The valuable insights and contributions of all the representatives involved have enriched the discussion on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Recommendations.

NIWF extends its heartfelt appreciation to Mama Cash for their support, Mukta Kamalari Bikash Manch for their valuable partnership, and all the representatives for their unwavering commitment to advancing human rights in Nepal. The collaborative endeavor demonstrates the power of partnerships and collective action in shaping a more inclusive and equitable future for all.

2024-02-13 17:01:37
Celebrating Unity: Inside the Vibrant National Conference for Indigenous Women’s Rights Day-1

On 12th July 2023: The momentous occasion unfolded as the National Conference on “Indigenous Women’s Rights and Leadership at the Policy Level” commenced its journey. With great honor, we welcomed Federal and Provincial Level Representatives from all over Nepal.

A brief but meaningful Puja ceremony was initiated, led by Vice-Chair, Yasso Kanti Bhattachan, as participants collectively invoked blessings for the success of the conference.

Resource persons, and experts in their respective fields, delivered thought-provoking speeches on the significant themes of the conference, including the Right to Self-Determination and Effective Tools to Safeguard the Rights of Indigenous Women.

Amidst the busy schedule, moments of respite emerged, allowing participants to engage in heartfelt conversations, and bond over refreshing tea, delectable snacks, and nourishing meals. As the sun descended, the day saw a colorful ending with “Solidarity Night.” It was an enchanting celebration, a jubilant tapestry of colors, music, and dance that embodied the unity and indomitable spirit of all Indigenous Communities.

2024-02-13 17:00:15
NIWF Vice- Chair attends the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Twenty-second Session: 17-28 April 2023. Division for Inclusive Social Development (DISD)

Vice-Chairperson to NIWF Yasso Kanti Bhattachan, is currently attending the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Twenty-second Session: 17-28 April 2023. Division for Inclusive Social Development (DISD). 

April 16, 2023, the opening prayers were performed by the NIWF Vice-Chairperson at the Rosa Luxembourg office in the traditional Thakali direction with the delegates from Sudan, Panama, Philippines, USA,MADRE, and the RLS team.

With S. James Anaya, an internationally recognized scholar, and author in the areas of international human rights and issues concerning indigenous peoples.

With Former Chair of Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Glaydias Acosta.

2024-02-13 16:58:26
National Conference on Indigenous Women’s Rights and Leadership: Highlights from Day-2

13th July, unveiled a cornucopia of activities that captivated our hearts and minds. From the exploration of the Position Paper to thought-provoking discussions on consequential subjects, and culminating with the unveiling of our book by the esteemed Vice-President, our plates were brimming with intellectual nourishment.

With the aroma of a delightful morning meal still lingering, we eagerly gathered at the conference venue, where our revered resource persons eagerly awaited the arrival of our honorable guests. The richness of our Mother Tongue, the significance of the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), the invaluable role of Indigenous Peoples (IPs) and Indigenous Women in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the transformative Paris Agreement of 2016 were just a few among the many captivating topics that ignited passionate discussions. In these exchanges, knowledge flourished, and profound understanding bloomed.

However, the crescendo of the day, the apex of our collective journey, arrived with the soft launch of a precious tome entitled “Elected Women Representatives of Federal, Provincial, and Local Level 2029.” This remarkable moment unfolded beneath the watchful gaze of the Vice-President, Ram Sahaya Yadav, whose presence bestowed a halo of distinction upon the occasion.

As the pages of the book unfurled, it became a tangible embodiment of honor, paying homage to the tireless dedication and extraordinary achievements of the elected women representatives. It left us enriched, both in knowledge and in spirit. With profound insights etched into our consciousness and a deep sense of unity forged through shared conversations, the National Conference on Indigenous Women’s Rights and Leadership at the Policy Level continued to sow the seeds of empowerment and change.

Our Reach
110 +
100k +
People reached
25 +
Years of Service
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