National Indigenous Women's Federation (NIWF) is a Kathmandu based umbrella organisation of Adivasi Janajati (Indigenous Nationalities) specifically women's organisations. The multiple roles that Nepalese Indigenous women play contribute to maintain, preserve and promote the distinct identity of Indigenous Peoples. Their language and cultural skills, and traditional knowledge in management of community and resources are distinct. Importantly, they are the knowledge holders to nurture mother earth, the environment and natural resources, and play a vital role in sustainable management of mother earth and environment, thus they also contribute to all human society nationally and globally. Traditionally and culturally indigenous women are decision makers in family and society and often play roles in peace building and reconciliation.
However, their roles and contribution are not recognised by the state. Laws, policies and practices highly marginalise, exclude, deprive, and discriminate against indigenous women. Despite this fact, indigenous women retain some or all of their knowledge, skills, culture, decision making roles and traditional institutions as well. So women leaders from different indigenous organisations established NIWF as a federation in 1999 and registered NIWF in 2000, with the aim of ensuring the right to participate in all state structures with their distinct identity. Presently, 31 Indigenous Women's Organisations are affiliated under this umbrella organisation.
In Nepal, Adivasi Janajati Women have bitter experiences of inherent structural patriarchy and dominated political systems. Social exclusion based on gender has for centuries been an important part of the Nepali milieu. Similarly, social exclusion based on ethnicity has been another reality in Nepal. Thus, Indigenous Nationalities Women face social exclusion not only because of them being women, but also because of their ethnicity. Women comprise 50.4 percent of Nepal out of which 37.5 percent are Adivasi Janajati women. It is a fact that the state has not recognised the "identity" of Adivasi Janajati women, deprived them from policy making processes and has been including them under the general term "Nepali women". In addition, Adivasi Janajati Women are marginalised and excluded from the mainstream of national development. Adivasi Janajati Women suffer from triple forms of discrimination: first for being women, secondly for being Adivasi Janajati and thirdly for being Adivasi Janajati Women.
1. Ensure constitutional, legal, political, social, cultural, religious, educational, economic and customary rights of indigenous women.
2. Ensure indigenous women's rights in ethnic, linguistic and regional autonomous regions through the organisations of indigenous women and capacity development of their organisations.