One of the Largest networking umbrella organizations in Nepal
Advocacy on International Platforms
Fostering Intergenerational Knowledge transfer
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.
National Indigenous Women Forum (NIWF) plays a pivotal role in lobbying for the rights of Indigenous Women, ensuring that their voices are heard at all levels of governance. By engaging with politicians, lawmakers, and other key stakeholders, as well as participating in regional and international platforms, NIWF strives to make the state and other relevant bodies responsible and accountable for upholding and advancing the rights of Indigenous Women. NIWF actively lobbies politicians and lawmakers to promote policies that protect and empower Indigenous Women. Our approach includes direct meetings, policy briefings, and presenting evidence-based research to inform and influence legislative processes. By maintaining a persistent presence in political arenas, we ensure that the issues affecting Indigenous Women are prioritized and addressed in policy discussions and decision-making. NIWF is dedicated to lobbying for the rights of Indigenous Women and Girls at all levels of governance. Our comprehensive approach, rooted in research and collaboration, ensures that the voices of Indigenous Women are heard and that their rights are prioritized in policy and practice.
Leadership Development & Advocacy
National Indigenous Women Forum (NIWF) is dedicated to fostering the leadership potential of Indigenous Women and Girls. Recognizing the critical role that leadership plays in empowering Communities and driving social change, NIWF offers a range of training, workshops, and programs designed to develop and enhance the leadership skills of Indigenous Women and Girls. NIWF's leadership development programs are designed to address the unique challenges faced by Indigenous Women and Girls. Through these initiatives, NIWF not only equips individuals with the tools they need to lead effectively but also strengthens the broader movement for Indigenous rights and social justice. NIWF is committed to nurturing the next generation of Indigenous leaders. Our programs for young leaders are designed to inspire and engage Indigenous Girls, providing them with early exposure to leadership and advocacy. Our work in this area is a testament to our commitment to social justice, equality, and the empowerment of Indigenous Communities.
Human Rights
Since its establishment, the National Indigenous Women Forum (NIWF) has been steadfastly dedicated to advancing the human rights of Indigenous women and girls. Our commitment to human rights is reflected in our comprehensive approach, which spans grassroots initiatives to high-level policy advocacy. NIWF ensures meaningful and result-oriented engagement at all levels, advocating for the rights of Indigenous peoples through persistent advocacy and strategic lobbying. NIWF recognizes the unique challenges faced by Indigenous Women and Girls, who often experience compounded discrimination based on their gender and ethnicity. NIWF’s advocacy efforts focus on promoting their rights and addressing issues such as violence, discrimination, lack of access to education and healthcare, and economic marginalization. NIWF works to amplify their voices, ensuring they are heard and respected in all spheres of life. At the grassroots level, NIWF engages directly with Indigenous Communities to understand their needs, aspirations, and challenges. NIWF conducts workshops, training sessions, and awareness campaigns to educate Indigenous Women and Girls about their rights. NIWF extends its advocacy efforts to the policy-making arena, where NIWF strives to influence laws, policies, and practices that impact Indigenous Peoples. Our policy advocacy is based on rigorous research and grounded in the lived experiences of Indigenous Women and Girls. We engage with policymakers, government officials and stakeholders to push for legislative reforms and the implementation of policies that protect and promote the rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Research & Publication
Research and Publication are integral to the mission of the National Indigenous Women Forum. Through empirical research, policy reviews, and the dissemination of our findings, NIWF strives to bring Indigenous issues to the forefront and advocate for meaningful change. NIWF’s work not only informs and educates but also empowers Indigenous Communities by amplifying their voices and experiences. NIWF believes that well-informed advocacy, grounded in solid research, is essential for achieving justice, equality, and respect for Indigenous Peoples. NIWF conducts extensive empirical research on a wide range of Indigenous issues. This research is designed to uncover the lived experiences of Indigenous Peoples, identify systemic challenges, and document the cultural, social, and economic realities within these Indigenous Communities. Our research methodology is rooted in participatory approaches, ensuring that Indigenous voices are not only heard but are integral to the research process. By engaging directly with Community members, we gather qualitative and quantitative data that reflects the authentic perspectives of Indigenous Peoples.
Youth Initiative
National Indigenous Women Forum (NIWF) is dedicated to fostering the empowerment of Indigenous Girls and Youth through a variety of training programs, workshops, and initiatives. Understanding the unique challenges faced by young Indigenous individuals, NIWF has made it a priority to provide them with the tools, skills, and knowledge they need to thrive. Focus for Indigenous Girls (FIG) operates as a sister organization to NIWF, with a specialized focus on raising awareness and addressing critical issues among Indigenous Girls and Youth. FIG aims to educate and empower young Indigenous individuals on topics such as climate change, sex, gender, sexuality, and gender-based violence. By tackling these vital issues, FIG seeks to create a generation of informed and empowered leaders who can advocate for themselves and their communities. In 2023, NIWF launched Indigenous Girls Opportunity Fund (IGOF), an initiative aimed at providing educational opportunities to Indigenous Girls from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. This fund offers scholarships that enable these Young Indigenous Girls to pursue their education and achieve their academic goals. The work of National Indigenous Women Forum and Focus for Indigenous Girls represents a holistic approach to empowerment. Through awareness campaigns, education, leadership training, and financial support, NIWF and FIG are making significant strides in improving the lives of Indigenous Girls and Youth. Their efforts ensure that the next generation of Indigenous leaders is well-prepared to address the complex issues of today and tomorrow, driving positive change within their Communities and beyond.
National Indigenous Women Forum (NIWF) is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Indigenous knowledge, languages, cultures, and traditions. Recognizing the profound value these elements hold, NIWF has made it their mission to document and safeguard them for future generations. Indigenous knowledge, in particular, offers invaluable solutions to contemporary challenges like climate change, making its preservation crucial. Indigenous knowledge encompasses a deep understanding of the natural world, developed over centuries through close interaction with the environment. This knowledge includes sustainable agricultural practices, natural resource management, and climate adaptation strategies that have been honed to perfection. By documenting and disseminating this knowledge, NIWF ensures that these time-tested solutions remain accessible and can be integrated into broader climate action efforts. One of NIWF’s significant initiatives is the documentation of the Bankariya Community’s language. The Bankariya are an endangered Indigenous community in Nepal, with their language at risk of extinction. With only a few elders fluent in the mother tongue, the language is perilously close to disappearing. This loss would mean the erasure of a vital component of the community’s identity, culture, and history. Documentation is important in preservation of Identity and Culture, Educational and Research Value, Empowerment and Advocacy. The work of NIWF in documenting Indigenous knowledge, languages, and cultures is a vital endeavour. It ensures that the wisdom and traditions of Indigenous Peoples are preserved for future generations, while also providing crucial solutions to modern challenges such as climate change. Through these efforts, NIWF is fostering a more inclusive, sustainable, and culturally rich world.
Climate Justice
Indigenous Peoples, particularly Indigenous Women, are among the most vulnerable populations affected by climate change. The unique challenges they face require tailored solutions that not only address immediate needs but also promote long-term sustainability and resilience. The National Indigenous Women Forum (NIWF) has recognized this critical need and has been at the forefront of advocating for climate justice. To empower Indigenous Women and their communities, NIWF has initiated a series of comprehensive Climate Smart Farming training programs. These programs are specifically designed to help Indigenous Women Groups develop sustainable agricultural practices that enable them to produce fresh vegetables throughout the year, including off-season periods. By implementing these practices, the women can sustain themselves and their families, ensuring food security and economic stability. One of the most significant achievements of NIWF’s training programs has been the substantial reduction in the use of chemical pesticides. The women have embraced environmentally friendly farming techniques, which are beneficial not only for their health but also for the preservation of their natural surroundings. This shift towards organic farming practices contributes to the overall health of the ecosystem, promoting biodiversity and reducing environmental pollution. Achieving climate justice requires a multifaceted approach that addresses the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of climate change. It involves ensuring that the voices of the most vulnerable and marginalised communities are heard and that their rights and needs are prioritised and NIWF works to bring forth Indigenous Peoples voices.
Economic Empowerment
Since its establishment in 1998, National Indigenous Women Forum (NIWF) has been steadfast in its mission to economically empower Indigenous Communities. By offering a diverse range of training programs and workshops, NIWF ensures that the specific needs and demands of these Indigenous Communities are effectively addressed. A cornerstone of NIWF's initiatives is the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) training, which has been instrumental in empowering Indigenous Women groups through sustainable agricultural practices. This training not only enhances their agricultural productivity but also fosters economic independence, allowing them to support their families and communities more effectively. In addition to agricultural training, NIWF has introduced soap-making workshops tailored for the Bankariya and Chepang Women groups. These workshops provide the skills necessary for these women to produce and market soap, creating a reliable source of income and promoting self-sufficiency. The success of these programs is evident in the improved economic conditions and enhanced quality of life for the participants. NIWF's commitment to economic empowerment extends beyond agriculture and soap making. NIWF has also facilitated training in pickle making and knitting, providing Indigenous Women with a variety of skills to generate income. These trainings are designed not only to impart technical skills but also to encourage entrepreneurship and business acumen among the participants. Furthermore, NIWF places a strong emphasis on leadership development. By offering leadership training programs, the organization aims to equip Indigenous Women with the confidence and skills needed to take on leadership roles within their Communities. These programs are crucial for fostering a sense of agency and empowering Women to advocate for their rights and the rights of their Communities. Through its comprehensive and multifaceted approach, NIWF has made significant strides in economically empowering Indigenous Women. The organization’s efforts have led to sustainable economic development, greater financial independence, and improved social standing for many women within Indigenous communities. NIWF remains committed to continuing its work, adapting its programs to meet evolving needs, and expanding its reach to empower even more Indigenous Women in the future.
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2024-07-19 12:54:47
National Indigenous Women Forum at the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) 2024 at New York, USA.

The High Level Political Forum (HLPF) is the main UN platform on sustainable development. The theme for 2024 was ‘Reinforcing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and eradicating poverty in times of multiple crises: The effective delivery of sustainable, resilient and innovative solutions’. National Indigenous Women Forum (NIWF)'s Chairperson Ms.Suni Lama, Vice-Chair Ms. Yasso Kanti Bhattachan and Member of Gandaki Province Hon. Bimala Gauchan participated at the High Level Political Forum 2024, from 8th July to 18th July 2024 in UN Women Headquarters, New York. 

Ms. Yasso Kanti Bhattachan, Vice-Chair of NIWF, was a speaker at the side event titled "Mapping the Path to Feminist Climate Justice: Redefining the Pact of the Future." This side event was organized by Women Engage for a Common Future (WECF), FEMNET, Women Environmental Programme (WEP); Women’s Major Group, WomenPower2030, Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development(APWLD), La Fundación para Estudio e Investigación de la Mujer (FEIM), GEF Action Coalition on Feminist Action for Climate Justice convened by UN Women.

She provided valuable insights from the perspective of Indigenous Women and offered several recommendations. Ms. Bhattachan emphasized the necessity of addressing intersectionality in any climate action policy, plan, or program. She discussed the significant impact of climate change on Indigenous Peoples in Nepal, highlighting how the livelihoods of Indigenous Women have been adversely affected. Moreover, Ms. Bhattachan pointed out that Indigenous Communities often perceive climate change as a natural phenomenon due to their limited awareness of Sustainable Development Goal 13, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) at the grassroots level. This lack of awareness underscores the need for more inclusive and accessible climate education and advocacy efforts.

HLPF is a crucial platform for Indigenous People because it ensures their voices are included in global policy discussions, allowing them to influence decisions that impact their Communities directly. HLPF provides opportunity for Indigenous Peoples to influence policy development and build their capacity for effective international advocacy. Overall, the HLPF plays a vital role in ensuring that Indigenous Perspectives are recognized and valued in sustainable development efforts. So it is important for Indigenous People to participate in HLPF.