Breaking Barriers: How Women Are Changing Nepal

Thu, Feb 1, 2024 11:08 AM on Exclusive, Featured,

In recent years, Nepal has seen big changes for women. They are breaking old rules and making Nepal a fairer and more forward-thinking place. One big change is more women getting involved in politics, Entrepreneurship, Education, Social Activism, etc. Women’s involvement in diverse fields signifies a departure from traditional roles, contributing to a society that values diversity and promotes the full participation of women in shaping the nation’s present and future.

Women’s Participation in Politics

Bidya Devi Bhandari serves as Nepal’s first female President, symbolizing a shift in gender dynamics. Her position is not just symbolic; it represents a tangible shift in gender dynamics, challenging the historical underrepresentation of women in political leadership. Before, women didn’t often get top political jobs. Now, with her, things are different. This is important because it means more women are joining politics, and it’s a big part of how Nepal is changing.

Dr. Toshima Karki is a Nepali politician, a doctor by profession, and a member of the Rastriya Swatantra Party. She was a representative in 2022 from Lalitpur. Her example would likely showcase the ongoing trend of women actively engaging in political spheres. Women like Karki contribute to the diversification of perspectives in decision-making processes, bringing unique insights and experiences to address a broader range of societal issues.

Women’s presence in politics challenges the stereotype that politics is primarily a male domain, encouraging more women to aspire to leadership roles. women’s examples pushing for laws promoting equal opportunities, combating gender-based violence, and supporting initiatives that empower women economically and socially. This sends a powerful message that women are capable leaders and decision-makers, contributing to changing societal perceptions of women’s roles.

Women’s participation in education

In a paradigm shift, women are increasingly achieving milestones in education, exemplified by former Miss Nepal 2019, Shrinkala Khatiwada, securing a spot at Harvard University (The top University in the world). Her story underscores a broader narrative of breaking gender barriers, encouraging more women to participate and excel in higher education, and contributing to a more inclusive and diverse academic landscape.

Women Entrepreneurs in Nepal

Women are increasingly involved in entrepreneurship, starting and managing businesses. Women entrepreneurs in Nepal are driving positive change by venturing into diverse fields, contributing to economic growth, and challenging traditional gender roles. 

Jesselina Rana, Co-founder, Pad2Go

Jesselina Rana established Pad2Go in 2018, which is a social enterprise that balances out advocacy and profit-making.  She advocates against taboos and restrictions faced by women and menstruating people. On the profit-making side, the company sells sanitary pad vending machines to remote public schools. The benefit of choosing Pad2Go is that provides wholesale rates on sanitary pads.

Nikita Jalan, Founder, Pet Mama

In April 2021, she started Doggy Mama: a dog training service. Over time, she got the idea of opening a pet grooming service called Pet Mama. Pet Mama is a one-stop shop for all pet grooming needs, from bathing to haircuts and treatments. They offer seven different types of treatment like oatmeal, de-shedding, and more, which have charges depending on the dog size and breed. 

Gender is no barrier for Nepali girls and women.  These are Nepali women entrepreneurs who are working hard to establish their startups in a male-dominated business landscape. 

Women’s Participation in Social Activism

Women are taking the lead in addressing social issues, including gender-based violence. Organizations like “Maiti Nepal” exemplify the active role women play in addressing gender-based violence. Led by figures like Anuradha Koirala, these organizations engage in rescuing and rehabilitating victims, raising awareness through campaigns, and offering preventive measures. ”Maiti Nepal” not only responds to incidents of violence but also emphasizes economic empowerment, enabling survivors to rebuild their lives with independence and dignity. Through these multifaceted efforts, women in social activism are instrumental in fostering positive change and challenging deeply ingrained issues in Nepal.

Women’s Participation in the Health Sector

Women are actively participating in healthcare, both as professionals and advocates. Programs like the “Safe Motherhood Program” aim to improve maternal health, reflecting a commitment to women’s well-being. Women are equally participating in health sectors like males by breaking barriers.


For instance, Dr. Tseten Yonjen Tamang is a highly experienced female Surgeon specializing in Liver, Pancreas, and Biliary System surgeries. With over 17 years of expertise, she is currently a Consultant at Clinic One. Holding an MBBS, MS, and a Fellowship in Hepatobiliary Surgery and Liver Transplantation, she is recognized for her proficiency. She has also been an Associate Professor at Chitwan Medical College and a Senior Registrar at the Human Organ Transplant Center in Bhaktapur. Dr. Tamang's extensive professional journey reflects her commitment to providing high-quality surgical care.

In conclusion, the evolving landscape in Nepal reflects a profound transformation as women break traditional norms and barriers across various sectors. In politics, figures like President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Dr. Toshima Karki exemplify the shifting dynamics, challenging historical underrepresentation and fostering a more inclusive leadership. The entrepreneurial spirit of women like Jesselina Rana and Nikita Jalan showcases their determination to challenge gender stereotypes and contribute to economic growth. 

For Instance, In education, Shrinkala Khatiwada's journey to Harvard symbolizes a paradigm shift, encouraging more women to excel in academia. Women's active roles in social activism, led by organizations like "Maiti Nepal" under Anuradha Koirala, highlight their commitment to addressing deep-rooted issues such as gender-based violence. Additionally, women's increasing participation in the health sector, embodied by Dr. Tseten Yonjen Tamang, signifies their vital contributions to healthcare. Collectively, these stories illuminate a narrative of resilience, empowerment, and transformative change, illustrating how women are catalyzing progress and reshaping the future of Nepal.


-Dinista Sharma