a group of four Nepalese woman hold each other while smiling and chatting

National Indigenous Women Forum

National Indigenous Women Forum works with Indigenous women and girls across Nepal to empower and support them in securing their rights and addressing the root causes of their oppression through advocacy, training, research, and more.

National Indigenous Women Forum advances the self-sufficiency of Indigenous women and girls in Nepal, supporting them in developing skills, gaining an education, and building sustainable sources of income.

The National Indigenous Women Forum’s projects include:

  • Sustainable and climate-resilient farming

  • English language and computer classes for Indigenous Bankariya children

  • Fostering intergenerational knowledge-sharing between Indigenous women and girls


The National Indigenous Women Forum is securing Indigenous women’s rights and advancing them as climate leaders.

Indigenous women and girls in Nepal face racial, linguistic, religious, cultural, economic, and political discrimination and exclusion, as well as gender discrimination. Moreover, Nepal is exceedingly vulnerable to the effects of the climate crisis due to its high altitudes, diverse terrain, and weather variability. Unstable monsoons, flooding, landslides, and food shortages are just some of the climate disasters the country faces.

a group of women rally for women's rights in Nepal

Repurposing Power

Nepal’s government requires that people possess a citizenship certificate to access COVID-19 aid — something that many Indigenous women, girls, people with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ people, and elderly and poor people lack due to barriers in accessing government institutions. The National Indigenous Women Forum has worked closely with local governments in Nepal to ensure aid is delivered to marginalized communities despite barriers like this.

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a woman uses a sickle to cut leaves in an abundant forest in Nepal

Sowing Solidarity

With MADRE’s support, the National Indigenous Women’s Forum ensures that Indigenous women are trained and resourced to adapt their farming techniques to preserve and promote Indigenous practices that protect the land from harmful chemicals.

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The National Indigenous Women’s Forum is advocating at the international and national levels for the full recognition and inclusion of Indigenous women and girls in Nepal’s constitution.

With MADRE, the group won United Nations support for their call to amend the constitution to explicitly recognize the rights of Indigenous women and girls.

Fighting for constitutional protections

an elderly woman in Nepal dressed in pick stares at camera

“Because of Mother Earth and our ancestors, we are alive and enjoying awesome nature. Now Mother Earth is getting sick, so we need to save her. The only way to save Mother Earth is to respect Indigenous Peoples’ collective way of life, which is connected closely to land, territory, and resources.”

Yasso Bhattachan Founding Member and Vice Chair, National Indigenous Women’s Forum
a cutout image of Yasso Bhattachan from the chest up wearing multiple colorful necklaces, a dress and a shawl

The National Indigenous Women Forum is working with Bankariya women and girls to advance their community’s efforts to obtain titles to their ancestral homelands in Nepal.

They provide advocacy training to Bankariya women and girls.

They’re connecting Bankariya advocates with local and national government.



With our partners at the National Indigenous Women’s Forum, MADRE supported a Indigenous women leaders in producing a report to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women highlighting the Nepalese government’s failure to recognize their needs. Together, we secured 15 recommendations from the convention to the Nepalese government.


Santoshi has been quite the role model for adolescent girls in Bankaria community of Hetauda.

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a group of four Nepalese woman hold each other while smiling and chatting