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
2024-05-18 13:25:59
Distribution of Stationery to IGOF Scholarship Candidates in Dolakha

National Indigenous Women Forum (NIWF) launched the Indigenous Girls Opportunity Fund (IGOF) in 2023 to champion equal access to education for Indigenous Girls. Dedicated to supporting these young learners, IGOF offers educational assistance to selected candidates from Marginalized and endangered Communities, particularly those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Emphasizing empowerment through education, IGOF aims to uplift and transform lives by providing essential educational support to those who need it most. 

In 2024, National Indigenous Women Forum (NIWF) selected two candidates from Ward No. 9 of Kalinchowk Rural Municipality in Dolakha district for the Indigenous Girls Opportunity Fund (IGOF) scholarship. The selection process involved comprehensive interviews conducted by NIWF staff, assessing the candidates' economic status and academic interests. The interviews included discussions with both the students and their parents. Additionally, NIWF staff visited the candidates' homes to ensure a thorough evaluation of their suitability for the scholarship.  On May 16, 2024, National Indigenous Women Forum (NIWF) traveled to Dolakha to provide necessary stationery items to the two selected candidates. The team visited the candidates' school and held a brief meeting with the teachers. During the meeting, they informed the teachers about the Indigenous Girls Opportunity Fund (IGOF) and explained the selection process for the candidates. Following the meeting, the school principal presented the students with the stationery items provided by NIWF.

Photo description: The Principal of Shree Kalika Secondary School providing stationery items to the two IGOF candidates.

Photo Description: Homes of the two IGOF candidates in Kalinchowk Rural Municipality Ward No. 9 in Dolakha District.

2024-05-20 14:55:56
National Indigenous Women Forum(NIWF) at the Twenty sixth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Nairobi, Kenya 2024

Ms. Suni Lama, Chairperson of National Indigenous Women Forum (NIWF), and Ms. Yasso Kanti Bhattachan, Vice-Chairperson of NIWF along with Government delegate Dr. Rajendra KC, Joint Secretary at Ministry of Forests and Environment, participated in the Twenty-Sixth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-26) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) held in Nairobi, Kenya 2024. The Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) is a subsidiary body of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Its main role is to provide the Conference of the Parties (COP) with timely advice related to the implementation of the Convention. SBSTTA addresses various scientific and technical aspects of biodiversity conservation, sustainable use, and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from genetic resources.

National Indigenous Women Forum(NIWF) in collaboration with Indigenous Peoples representatives of NDN Collective(Canada, USA, Mexico), IITC2, Qe’qchi People of Laguna, (Belize), Jamii Asilia Center(Africa Region, Kenya), and the Inuit Circumpolar Council submitted Indigenous Peoples’ Position Statement for the separation of the terms Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities(regularly referenced as IPLC), to prevent further conflation and undermining of Indigenous Peoples’ rights frameworks.

In the position paper, they made the following recommendations at the Twenty-Sixth meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA-26) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD): Promote respect for, recognition of, and full application of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, Update working methods, Ensure accurate data and relevant information, Avoid Discrimination, Use the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as the minimum standard, Reform procedural rules, Adopt distinctions-based policies, Utilize distinction-based language.

This position statement was submitted to provide resolution and clarity to the conflation of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLC) and to respond to the motion made by the Democratic Republic of Congo, at the SBSTTA26, to maintain this conflation.

2024-05-06 14:22:41
Historic Announcement: Official Recognition of Nepal Bhasa(Newar) and Tamang Indigenous Languages in Nepal

May 6, 2024 (Baisakh 24, 2081) stands as a momentous day for the Indigenous Communities of Nepal, marking a significant achievement in their ongoing struggle for recognition and inclusion. Amidst a vibrant gathering in Basantapur, Kathmandu, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal made a historic announcement regarding the provincial government's decision to use Nepali, Tamang and Nepal Bhasha (Newari language) as the languages of official business across the province. To commemorate this milestone and heighten public awareness, the provincial government of Bagmati Province has declared May 6, 2024, a public holiday. This decision not only signifies linguistic diversity but also represents a significant step towards recognizing and honoring the cultural heritage of Indigenous Peoples within the region. 

National Indigenous Women Forum (NIWF) partook in a powerful march in celebration of a monumental milestone for Indigenous Communities of Nepal. The atmosphere was charged with joy and triumph as members of various Indigenous groups, joined together in solidarity, celebrating the culmination of their tireless advocacy efforts. This day will be remembered as a beacon of progress and inclusivity, a testament to the enduring spirit and resilience of Nepal's Indigenous Communities.
The photograph below captures a vibrant moment as "Tamang Jhākris" take center stage, exuberantly performing to commemorate the historic declaration of Tamang and Nepal Bhasa as official languages alongside Nepali. Their spirited performance encapsulates the joy and significance of this linguistic milestone, reflecting the cultural richness and diversity of Nepal's Indigenous Communities. 

2024-05-05 14:17:22
Establishment of Library for the Bankariya, Chepang and Tamang children of Musedhap, Ward No. 4 of Manahari Rural Municipality, Makwanpur district

National Indigenous Women Forum(NIWF) with the support from MADRE, celebrated the officially inauguration of a library for the Bankariya, Chepang, and Tamang children of Musedhap located in Ward No. 4 of Manahari Rural Municipality, Makwanpur district. With the primary aim of providing a safe haven for children to explore and expand their knowledge, the library's inception embodies a commitment to educational advancement. 

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was graced by esteemed figures including Mr. Prakash Thapa, the Ward Chairperson, Ms. Suni Lama, Chairperson of NIWF, and Ms. Yasso Kanti Bhattachan, Vice-Chairperson of NIWF. This marked marked the auspicious commencement of the library's official operations, signifying a pivotal moment for the Local Community's educational landscape.NIWF provided essential items such as shoes, bags, notebooks, pencils, pens, and geometry boxes to a total of 41 children, including those from Bankariya, Chepang, and Tamang Communities. NIWF also provided book cupboards, cushions, tables, carpets and whiteboards for the library. Additionally, "Room to Read," an organization, contributed 300 books for the library enriching the library's resources. Through these collaborative efforts, the library emerges not only as a physical space but as a beacon of hope and opportunity, poised to empower generations to come through the transformative power of education.Notable speakers, like Vidur Thapa from the Manahari Rural Municipality's Education Department, Ashok Sujan Shrestha, Chairperson of Federation of Nepalese Indigenous Journalists (FONIJ) Makwanpur, and Sushila Gole, Treasurer of National Indigenous Women Forum, echoed the profound significance of education in shaping the future of the younger generation.The Bankariyas are endangered Indigenous Community of Nepal with a mere population of 180 according to the 2021 Census out of which only 86 of them speak their Mother tongue. In the 2011 National Census, Bankariyas were not recorded as they were not recognized till then. Two decades ago, the Bankariyas, once nomadic hunter-gatherers, originated from Chureghanch, a remote dense forest in the Chure range. In 1995, only 12 Bankariyas were reported living a nomadic lifestyle in the area. However, following the ten-year Maoist insurgency in Nepal, their freedom of movement in the Chure forests was severely restricted. This compelled them to abandon their ancestral lands and migrate to the lowlands for refuge.

2024-04-28 14:12:52
Report sharing on "A Report on the Situation of Gender-based Violence against the Chepang Women of Ichchhakamana Rural Municipality in Chitwan" and "A Policy Review of Ichchhakamana Rural Municipality’s Policies and Programmes for FY 2023/2024 (2079/2080 BS) from Gender Equality and Social Inclusion and Indigenous Perspectives"

On April 26, 2024, the National Indigenous Women Forum-NIWF, in collaboration with UNDP, hosted a gathering to share two reports:A Report on the Situation of Gender-based Violence against the Chepang Women of Ichchhakamana Rural Municipality in Chitwan, and another "A Policy Review of Ichchhakamana Rural Municipality’s Policies and Programmes for FY 2023/2024 (2079/2080 BS) from Gender Equality and Social Inclusion and Indigenous Perspectives". Hon. Kiran Kumar Sah, Chair of the Women and Social Affairs Committee of Nepal's House of Representatives, graced the event, which was chaired by Ms. Suni Lama, NIWF's chairperson, alongside Mr. Indra B. Poudel, secretary of the Women and Social Affairs Committee, and Mr. Divas Rai, General Secretary of NEFIN, as special guests. 

This gathering served as a platform not only to unveil the final findings and recommendations encapsulated within the reports but also to foster an environment conducive to the exchange of insightful suggestions and perspectives from the diverse array of participants. Representatives from various organizations, including NIWF-Federation, INOWLAG, experts, Nepal Disabled Women Association (NDWA), and the Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO), contributed to the enriching discourse.

Through this collaborative effort, the event aimed not only to shed light on the pressing issues faced by Indigenous Women but also to catalyze actionable steps toward fostering greater gender equality, social inclusion, and Indigenous empowerment within the fabric of local policies and programs.

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