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Kripa Basnyat

Nationality: Nepalese
Living in: Kathmandu, Nepal
Twitter: @Kripa_Basnyat

Programme Manager, The Asia Foundation


Having worked with national and international organisations in Nepal and India, Kripa has gained extensive experience in the areas of women’s economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR), peacebuilding and reconciliation, gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) through collective movement building, leadership development and capacity strengthening in the global south.

Kripa is working as a Programme Manager for CM-GESI at The Asia Foundation (TAF) in mitigating conflict through effective implementation of GESI policies and programmes in Nepal. The programme reduces conflicts between different identities mainly focusing on women and Dalits through ‘People-to-People’ approach, a peace-building intervention to build trust and strengthen social ties for establishing equality and justice.

Between September 2015 and February 2017, Kripa served as an Executive Director of Hamro Chahana Nepal (HCN), a women-led feminist human rights organisation, which works holistically on women’s learning and knowledge production, bodily integrity, access to economic justice, rapid response system, and collective movement building. HCN embarks on empowering the most marginalised and excluded young women in Nepal to take leadership of their own lives, bodies and economy. Different initiatives were taken in the most earthquake-affected district to achieve alternative livelihoods opportunities, education and health services in a holistic way.

Between June 2011 and April 2015, as Programme Manager and Programme Officer with the Programme on Women’s Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (PWESCR), Kripa managed the Leadership Development Programmes and built the capacities of leaders from the Global South. Kripa organised four Leadership Institutes in Women’s ESC Rights along with many short trainings which focused on regional and international human rights mechanisms. Kripa organised more than 28 training sessions and trained more than 700 participants which included developing learning tools and manuals.

Whilst working as the Programme Officer in Himalayan Human Rights Monitors (HimRights), Kripa worked with conflict affected children, youth and women in peace-building and reconciliation process through trauma healing, awareness on government provisions, building capacities on the affected communities to advocate for right to access to justice. Kripa was coordinating six conflict affected districts in Nepal to reconcile warring parties in post conflict situation. She is a founding member of South Asian Feminist Alliance for ESCR (SAFA for ESCR) and the Young Feminist Circle (YFC).

She graduated with an MA in Politics from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) along with a B.Com (Hons) from Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University.


Personal Statement

I am a staunch and passionate activist fighting for equality and inclusion for the most marginalised communities. By nature, I consider myself a curious person who is constantly questioning the status quo, challenging the structures of inequalities, and troubled by all injustices. The discrimination that my mother faced after becoming a widow during my childhood is still fresh in my mind. This triggered me to become an advocate of gender equality and social justice through voicing my opinions fiercely. Similarly, my work on substantive equality led me to realise the importance to uphold the dignity of the Dalit community. It is difficult to challenge the historically set gender and caste values and norms. For the same reason, I chose to continue fighting against these injustices, by uprooting the causes of gender and caste-based discrimination.

I was gradually and naturally attracted to working with the social justice sector, having initially sought to work in the management sector. The shift started happening as soon as I graduated, I started volunteering to raise funds in Delhi after the tsunami. I was always interested in philanthropic work and the interest was sealed after the association with Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) where I acquired my MA in Politics. I am interested in further pushing the envelope to learn more about equality, equity, and inclusion at all spheres.

Various experience of working at feminist human rights organisations and development agencies led to my transformation from within, and a self-introspection which helped me discover the passion and rigor to work on gender-related issues. I have been engaged with different regional networks working to uphold rights and justice. I have recently come to realise I want to work with young women from the most marginalised communities, who are deprived of the opportunities to learn about the rights-based approach, advocacy, self-care, and leadership development.

Leadership Development and capacity strengthening has helped to build critical mass from the Global South to advocate for human rights. I have been involved in designing new programmes, creating new modules and executing them in an innovation manner.

Nepal is undergoing tremendous changes nationally and the shift in the governing bodies would not automatically lead to shift in public opinion. I want to pursue my research on the best practices of adopting policies and programmes to ensure equality and inclusion of the most marginalised communities.