Building grassroots women's leadership in Nepal

They stand up for women’s leadership
After the training, the women leaders are ready to take on forest governance.

Nineteen women leaders from Kavrepalanchowk are now grassroots gender leaders following the completion of a three-part training provided by RECOFTC Nepal in collaboration with the Division Forest Office. The third module of the training was completed from 17–18 January 2023 for women members of a community forest user group.

The participants learned skills that will help them participate in the community forest user group's decision-making processes. The training was developed to identify and foster women leaders so that they can effectively take part in forest governance.

Shambhu Dangal, Country Director of RECOFTC Nepal, facilitating a session on program planning
Shambhu Dangal, Country Director of RECOFTC Nepal, facilitating a session on program planning.

The modules explored different lenses integral to unleashing women's leadership. The first module focused on identifying stereotypical gender norms ascribed to men and women and examining how these affect women's roles in their families and communities. It also explored prevalent gender biases, how they are played out in natural resource management, and how an intersectional lens may be useful.

The second module focused on leadership development, helping them build motivation, articulate development needs, and prioritize ways forward. The third module focused on building self-confidence. Participants gained practical skills in public speaking, convening meetings, resolving conflicts and negotiating for their rights.

As they progressed through the sessions, a visible change could be seen. “After the training, I find myself able to challenge the status quo,” says Anjana Suwal. "My family members have never been enthusiastic about attending workshops and training. Now I know how these cultural norms take a toll on my self-esteem and affect my confidence. I convinced them that women’s participation is important and benefits us all.”


The active learning methodology of the training program provided grassroots women leaders with practical and experiential learning opportunities. Some family members also joined the third session gaining key insights in support of women's leadership.

The participant women leaders will now develop an action plan to promote gender equity. RECOFTC Nepal will continually support the communities in monitoring their progress. Building on the inspiring progress here, the modules will be replicated in other RECOFTC locales to promote women’s leadership, gender equity and social inclusion.