Working for Women’s rights in Nepal – Bandana Rana

“Let us walk this walk together” said Bandana Rana the Woman of Distinction Awardee (2016) in her speech at Conference.

Indeed, her powerful words on Friday morning pointed towards her belief. A belief that women forming a movement can bring about change.

In her thirty year journey, she has been the prime mover of several changes. Her commitment has earned her distinguished positions – the latest being Nepal elected to The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

Bandana Rana from Nepal is a journalist and an activist – a compelling combination. Beginning as a TV journalist in a country where women have subservient roles, a voiceless, faceless identity she moved onto greater challenges. A short stint for TV journalism in Netherlands exposed her to the unlimited possibilities that a woman can have.

She decided what her journey would be – that to use her communicator skills to reach the policy makers in Nepal where status for women was a non subject.

She questioned, she explored and found her calling, in forming an Non Goverment Oorganisation (NOG) Saathi in1992.

Saathi now has four shelters for abused women and 5 for children. She was convinced that changing the mind set of men and boys for a sustainable change, needs the critical engagement of the men and boys.

While addressing daily outpourings of violence against women, she continued her work as journalist and established, Sancharika Samuha a forum of women that trained media to change the stereotypical perceptions of women.

Bandana Rana has since worn several hats nationally regionally and globally. To the Soroptimists her message was – walk together for women’s causes – change is possible.

Nisha Ghosh


About Bandana Rana

Bandana Rana is one of the leaders of the women’s mo
vement in Nepal with more than 25 years of active engagement in promoting women’s rights and gender equality. She has worked from the grassroots to national, regional and global level to address the concerns of survivors of violence, marginalized and destitute women and their empowerment.

Ms. Rana is co-founder and currently the Strategic Director of Saathi a pioneer NGO working on violence against women and girls. Ms. Rana has led many advocacy programs and studies related to Gender Based Violence in the conflict and post conflict situation of Nepal.

Ms Rana worked with Nepal Television as editor/anchor for twenty years. She has led advocacy programs focused on media interventions and enhancing participatory communication at all levels. Ms Rana is the former Chair of Nepal’s National Women’s Commission.  She is presently the chair of the Global Network of Women’s Shelters. She also served as member of the UN Women Global Civil Society Advisory Group, member of Asia Pacific Regional Advisory Group for Women Peace and Security at UN ESCAP and member of the High Level Advisory Group for the Global Study on UNSCR 1325.

Ms. Rana was the recipient of the “Woman of Distinction” Award 2016 conferred by the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, UN, New York for her significant contribution and leadership to promote women’s rights and gender equality globally.