Since its establishment in 1998, National Indigenous Women Forum (NIWF) works with indigenous women and girls across Nepal to empower and support them in securing indigenous women’s rights. We focus on solving the root causes of vulnerability and exclusion of indigenous women and girls. From the grassroots to policy level, we come together to intensify advocacy for securing rights of indigenous women and indigenous girls, and run programmes with focus on advocacy, training, discussion, interaction, research and publication as needed.
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.
To contribute to the establishment of just and equitable society
To empower indigenous women by eliminating social, political, cultural, religious and linguistics discrimination for social justice
NIWF’s goal is to support indigenous women to be an equal partner in the national development.