A woman's journey from community forestry to politics

Community forestry inspires women’s leadership in Nepal where local woman rise to decision-making roles and challenge discrimination to create equal opportunities for all.
Ms. Dhanamaya Bishokarma

“Good governance of forests and natural resources should engage and create benefits for all members of the society equally,” said Dhanamaya Bishwokarma, member of Nepal’s Dalit minority and former president of a women’s community forest user group in Harion Municipality. “I am glad that I can contribute to the good governance of forests and transfer them to the new generation.”

As monsoon rains intensified over the past decade, heavy floods ravaged communities like Bishwokarma’s living along the base of the Chure Hills. Deforestation worsened the effect as rivers and streams inundated the forest areas at the mountain base that communities manage for their livelihood. 

"There used to be only river banks around here,” Bishwokarma said. “I decided to support my community in building a dam in the village because I felt a firm responsibility to protect my village."

Bishwokarma got involved in this and other community forest management activities through the Pragatishil Community Forest in her home village. She became the first president of the women-led Pragatishil community forest user group and in 2022 she was reelected  ward representative of Harion Municipality.  

Read the full article about her rise from community forestry to politics in a story published  Annapurna Media Network. 

RECOFTC Nepal works with women who depend on natural resources to secure land tenure and resource rights, govern and manage their lands and improve their livelihoods.

Dhanamaya's rise from community forestry to politics in a story