IDSN is delighted to announce the appointment of  Ms Renu Sijapati as the first Dalit woman from Nepal to be elected chair of the IDSN board following approval of the board at IDSN’s General Assembly. Ms Sijapati is the General Secretary of the Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO) and will be continuing her tenure on the IDSN board. IDSN is thrilled that Ms Sijapati will lead the newly constituted Board, bringing her invaluable experience and expertise to the forefront and further supporting IDSN’s strategic aims on caste and gender justice.

Ms Sijapati brings a wealth of expertise in social inclusion, gender equality, and human rights, particularly focused on advancing the rights of Dalit women. Her extensive experience encompasses roles such as the General Secretary of IDSN member the Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO), where she plays a pivotal role in networking, donor relations, and mobilising women in the feminist movement across Nepal. Furthermore,  she has a master’s degree in Sociology and Gender from Tribhuwan University.

Beyond her NGO work, Ms Sijapati has made significant contributions as a Gender and Social Inclusion Advisor, developing training manuals and facilitating workshops aimed at empowering women and promoting gender equality and social inclusion at various levels. Her involvement with the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens as a Think Tank member underscores her influence in policymaking and advocacy for marginalised communities. Ms. Sijapati’s efforts in localising Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and her strong advocacy for Dalit women’s rights highlight her dedication to bringing about systemic change and ensuring the inclusion and equality of marginalised groups in Nepal and beyond.

“This is a significant moment for IDSN and I am delighted that Renu has been appointed Chair of the IDSN Board. Renu is an amazing leader and her vision will support us in bringing the IDSN strategy to life and help shape not only our future, but that of the global movement,” said Meena Varma, Executive Director of IDSN.

Ms. Sijapati is joined on the board by two other continuing board members and seven new board members who all bring unique insights and expertise to the work and leadership of IDSN. The board is now comprised of five Dalit women and one Dalit man representing IDSN’s members in South Asia, two representatives from IDSN’s international associates and two representatives from Dalit Solidarity Networks in Europe. IDSN welcomes all new and continuing members to the IDSN Board.