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.
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
2024-04-19 14:41:49
Advanced Climate Smart Farming and Management Training for Thami Women

National Indigenous Women Forum (NIWF), with the support from MADRE, organized an Advanced Climate Smart Farming and Management Training for Thami Women in Kalinchowk Rural Municipality 9, Sundrawati, located in the Dolakha district. The program was facilitated by NIWF team and Goma Thami, president of the Thami Women Farmers Group. Shanti Khadka served as the resource person for the training. 

The primary objective of this initiative was to empower 25 Indigenous Women from the Thami Community to actively participate in collective climate justice efforts and to enhance their economic empowerment through the commercial production of vegetables.

Indigenous Women are on the frontlines of climate change's impact on agriculture. Empowering Indigenous Women with knowledge and skills in climate-smart farming is crucial for enhancing their resilience to climate change, improving their livelihoods, and ensuring food security for their Communities. It enables them to adapt to changing environmental conditions, protect and sustainably manage natural resources, and contribute to climate change mitigation efforts. Additionally, economic empowerment through climate-smart farming can lead to increased decision-making power, improved social status, and greater participation in community and policy-making processes, ultimately contributing to gender equality and social justice. 

The agricultural strategy aims to fulfil the demand for vegetables, fruits, and crops by emphasizing the importance of local (Raithane) advanced and hybrid seeds. In alignment with the long-term agricultural development plan, the goal is to achieve economic prosperity by providing farmers with information on advanced seeds, climate-friendly farming practices, modern technological products, pest management, plant growth and development, and weed control.


2024-04-18 16:59:31
Meeting with the Women and Social Affairs Committee of House of Representatives to discuss CEDAW General Recommendation No.39

National Indigenous Women Forum(NIWF), with the support of WFA, convened a discussion program with the members of the Women and Social Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives in the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration, Singha Durbar, Kathmandu Nepal on the CEDAW General Recommendation-39. 

The event was facilitated by Mr. Indra Bahadur Poudel, secretary of Women and Social Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives where as Ms. Yasso Kanti Bhattachan Vice-Chairperson of NIWF-Forum presentated a paper on CEDAW GR-39.The focus of the discussion was on CEDAW General Recommendation No. 39, which addresses the rights and issues about Indigenous Women and Girls. NIWF's Chairperson Ms. Suni Lama also spoke on the challenges faced by Indigenous Peoples. She underscored the significance of CEDAW General Recommendation No. 39 in addressing the complex and multifaceted challenges faced by Indigenous Women and Girls in Nepal. By raising awareness of these issues and advocating for their rights within the framework of international human rights standards, NIWF is playing a pivotal role in advancing gender equality and social justice for Indigenous Communities in Nepal.

2024-03-20 12:39:54
"Ecological Justice and Indigenous Identity" at the World Social Forum

The World Social Forum (WSF) is a testament for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and grassroots movements worldwide that "Another World is Possible". Since its inception in Brazil in 2001, WSF has served as a counterpoint to the narratives of globalization promoted by events like the World Economic Forum in Davos. It has quickly become a space where diverse voices converge to advocate for social, economic, and environmental justice.

During the recent World Social Forum, the National Indigenous Women Forum (NIWF) hosted a compelling panel discussion under the theme “Ecological Justice and Indigenous Identity.” Moderated by Ms. Barsha Lekhi, this event served as a crucible for critical conversations, addressing the urgent challenges faced by Indigenous Communities in their struggle for ecological justice.
The discussions delved into various facets of the Indigenous experience, ranging from land rights and resource management to cultural preservation and climate resilience. Each topic sparked impassioned debates and illuminated perspectives, shedding light on the complexities of Indigenous struggles worldwide.

One of the central themes of the discussion was the critical role of Indigenous communities in environmental protection. Panelists showcased the efficacy of traditional knowledge in land management, highlighting its value alongside contemporary scientific approaches. This fusion of traditional wisdom with modern techniques underscores the importance of incorporating Indigenous perspectives into environmental policymaking and resource management practices.

Moreover, the panel highlighted the unique challenges faced by Indigenous women in accessing resources and asserting their rights. These challenges underscored the importance of collaboration between governments, Indigenous communities, and stakeholders. By fostering stronger partnerships, we can work towards achieving ecological justice and ensuring equitable outcomes in natural resource management.

The event at WSF was more than just a panel discussion; it was a platform for amplifying Indigenous voices and advocating for meaningful change. It emphasized the need for solidarity and mutual respect in addressing the interconnected challenges of environmental degradation, cultural preservation, and social justice.

As we reflect on the discussions and insights shared at the World Social Forum, let us commit ourselves to supporting Indigenous communities in their quest for justice and sustainability. By standing in solidarity with Indigenous peoples, we can build a more equitable and sustainable world for future generations.

2024-03-19 14:16:31
Empowering Dalit and Indigenous Women and Girls in Nepal: Insights from CSW68
National Indigenous Women Forum (NIWF) and the Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO) recently joined forces to host a  panel discussion titled "Advancing Gender Equality and Empowerment of Dalit and Indigenous Women and Girls in Nepal" during the Sixty-eighth session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York City, United States.

The event, which convened esteemed panelists and dignitaries, including Honorable Radhika Tamang, Member of the Bagmati Provincial Assembly, and Mr. Suman Raj Aryal, General Secretary of the Ministry of Women, Children, and Senior Citizen of Nepal, aimed to shed light on the challenges faced by Dalit and Indigenous women and girls in Nepal and catalyze actionable change.

Dr. Rabina G Rasaily, Executive Director of FEDO Nepal, expertly moderated the discussion, guiding conversations among panelists Yasso Kanti Bhattachan, Vice-Chairperson of NIWF - Nepal; Durga Sob, Founder President of FEDO Nepal; Queen Bisseng, UN Programme Specialist for Africa for GFOD; and Sushmita Lama, Indigenous Women Programme Coordinator at the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact Foundation (AIPP).

Key topics explored included advocating for policy reforms to address gender-based violence and discrimination within marginalized communities, promoting inclusive representation in decision-making processes, ensuring equitable access to resources for empowerment, and fostering collaborative partnerships to advance the Sustainable Development Goals.

The event underscored the urgent need to elevate the voices of Dalit and Indigenous women and girls, who often face intersecting forms of discrimination based on ethnicity, caste, socioeconomic status, and cultural background. By centering their perspectives in policy discussions and interventions, policymakers can develop more targeted and effective strategies to address their unique needs and challenges.

One significant challenge highlighted during the discussion is the criminalization of traditional skills and practices of Indigenous Women and Girls, leading to their displacement from ancestral lands and further marginalization within their communities. This suppression of Indigenous knowledge perpetuates cycles of poverty and disempowerment among these women and girls.

Moreover, it is crucial to recognize that women are not a homogenous group; rather, they encompass diverse experiences and identities. Acknowledging this heterogeneity is essential for designing inclusive policies and programs that cater to the specific needs of marginalized women and girls, including those from Indigenous and Dalit communities.

Despite these challenges, grassroots movements and community organizations have emerged as key actors in amplifying the voices of marginalized women and girls. By mobilizing communities and advocating for systemic change, these grassroots initiatives play a vital role in empowering Indigenous and Dalit women and girls to claim their rights and shape a more inclusive and equitable society in Nepal.

In conclusion, the panel discussion served as a beacon of hope and progress, highlighting the importance of collaborative efforts to advance gender equality and empowerment for all women and girls, particularly those from marginalized communities. By centering their voices and experiences, we can collectively work towards a future where every woman and girl in Nepal has the opportunity to thrive and realize her full potential.
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.

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