Pratima is a Gurung indigenous woman experiencing disability since the early age of seven. She has been involved in research and advocacy since 2002, working in gender, disability, indigenous and other marginalized issues. She is a faculty member of Padma Kanya College, the only government College in Nepal providing only girls education. She founded NIDWAN in 2015 with an aim to be voice of voiceless at all levels. In addition, she worked as a Fellow at International Disability Alliance and Indigenous Persons with Disabilities Global Network in 2011 and currently she is a Global Advisory Member of Disability Advocacy Right Fund and General Secretary of Indigenous Persons with Disabilities Global Network and Asia Focal person.
Jamuna is a young Tamang indigenous woman with physical disability belonging to a remote village of Sindhupalchowk, one of the 2015 earthquake affected districts. She is currently pursuing a Master in Management and playing a key role in the effective organization of NIDWAN. She works as a facilitator to unite young women with disabilities and engage them to develop and groom their capacity. Jamuna is also a wheelchair sport player and cultural dancer, and contributes to mainstreaming disability through sports.
Ranjana is a young indigenous woman with a physical disability representing Nepal’s Western Terai. She is currently doing her Master Degree in Sports and Social Work. She is working in NIDWAN as a Social Inclusion Officer and Project Coordinator. She is engaged in research and fieldwork, and in facilitating all the day to day activities of NIDWAN. Ranjana is member of the National Para Taekwendo team, competing and representing Nepal internationally since 2015.
Our journey begins when Pratima engaged in field research about gender and disability, and realized that indigenous women with disabilities from rural areas were in a very critical situation. Facing multiple discrimination and violation of our Human Rights, we were not represented anywhere in the society and remained invisible to the rest. There was a necessity to bring our stories to light.
The 2015 earthquake led to an increase of vulnerability among Young indigenous women with disabilities, experiencing direct, structural, and institutional discrimination and the situation became even more alarming.
We struggled finding a structure that could represent all of us due to our multiple identities and acknowledged the need of creating an inclusive association to bring awareness about intersectional discrimination.
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