Focus country: Nepal

45. These women works on a vegetable farm, which was set up with WHR’s help in Chapagaun, Nepal - small

Inequality based on caste and gender is widespread in Nepal. Many women have experienced discrimination and violence. Women from low castes such as the Dalit caste are especially vulnerable because they don’t have access to their own money, housing or land.

Discrimination against widows is also common. If a woman’s husband dies, she is considered a bad omen by society and faces exclusion and, often, violence.

Ten years of civil war, from 1996 to 2006, which left 30,000 people dead and communities broken, only served to increase inequality.

  • 77 per cent of married women aged 15 to 49 are employed, compared with 98 per cent of men. Of these women, 61 per cent are unpaid for the work they do, compared with 12 per cent of men (Nepal Demographic and Health Survey 2011).
  • Only 40 per cent of Nepali girls are educated beyond primary school (The World’s Women 2010: Trends and Statistics).
  • Only 11.8% of Dalit girls are enrolled in secondary school
  • About 49% of Dalit women encounter violence but only 4.4% of cases are reported
  • 75% of single women/widows were married between the ages of 10 – 19

Strengthening the women's movement

Nepal is a Womankind focus country, where we are working to support and strengthen the women's movement and to enable marginalised women to participate in the movement.

For example, we support our longstanding partner Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO) to advocate on behalf of Dalit women in local, national and international spaces from the local village committees through to parliamentary elections and the UN.
We will also work with new partners such as the Nepal Disabled Women’s Association (NDWA) to represent the needs and rights of disabled women, as well as the National Indigenous Women’s Federation (NIWF) to increase the voice and visibility of indigenous women. 

Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO)

  • Asia
  • Nepal
FEDO promotes the rights of Dalit (meaning "oppressed" in South Asia) women through advocacy, education, economic rights, health and sanitation programmes and projects.
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NIWF logo

National Indigenous Women's Federation (NIWF)

National Indigenous Women’s Federation (NIWF) is a Kathmandu based umbrella organisation of Adivasi Janajati (Indigenous Nationalities), specifically of women's organisations.
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Nepal Disabled Women Association logo

Nepal Disabled Women's Association (NDWA)

  • Asia
  • Nepal
NDWA's main goal is "to improve socio-economic and political status of women with disabilities" focusing on education, health, rehabilitation and livelihoods.
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  • Asia
  • Nepal
Saathi’s strategy is to work at all levels of Nepali society – from the government to the grassroots level. Saathi is committed to eliminating violence against women and supporting women ...
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Women for Human Rights (WHR)

  • Nepal
  • Asia
WHR strengthens the lives of single women (widows) through their economic, social, political and cultural empowerment in order to enable them to live their lives with dignity and respect. It ...
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Our impact in Nepal

Thanks to our partnership with women’s organisations in Nepal:

  • Over 83,000 widows are working together to protect their rights through networks in 73 districts of Nepal.
  • Following our partners’ campaigning, the law has changed so that, for example, the property of a deceased husband is no longer returned to his family when a widow remarries, and widows do not have to be 35 to inherit their husband’s property.
  • The Nepali Congress Party has amended its constitution to reserve two seats for Dalit women.
  • Three Dalit women trained by FEDO have been elected to the central committee of the Nepalese Dalit movement.
  • 12 Dalit women who took part in our training sessions have joined political parties.
  • 2,427 Dalit and single women households received essential household, hygiene and medical supplies after the earthquake.
  • 1620 Dalit households who lost their houses received temporary shelters.
  • Five ‘women and child safe spaces’ were opened in Kathmandu, where women and children could go after the earthquake for essential basics and psychological services.

Find out more about our impact

Help us do more

£57 can provide journalism training for 10 Dalit women to raise awareness of issues that affect them.

£219 can train a Dalit woman in leadership skills so she can become involved in politics.

£25 can help five widows to start their own business so they’re more independent and can pull themselves out of poverty.