Binda Pandey – Nepal

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

Binda Pandey (born 1966) has been involved in Nepal’s trade union movement for the past 15 years as an activist and educator. She is a leader of the iron and chemical workers’ unions, and the driving force behind most publications brought out by Gefont, one of the largest confederations of Nepalese trade unions. Responsible for many women joining trade unions and fighting for their rights, she currently plays an active role in the movement for the restoration of democracy in Nepal. (1000peacewomen).

She says: … “After being admitted at the school, I used to need to take care of my family as well as domestic animals, because elder sisters had already married and brothers were in city. For the purpose, collecting fodder and grasses as well as fetching water for cattle in the morning as well as in the evening during out time of the school, used to be routine work. Similarly, I used to need to work in the land in the weekend and holiday. Anyhow, I should consider myself lucky enough for the educational opportunity in compare to my elders sisters as well as other village girls in my age, regardless how difficult it was” … (full long text about herself).

It is said: Labor activist and educator Binda Pandey has brought many women into Nepal’s active trade union movement, and is sticking her neck out for the restoration of democracy in Nepal.

A website in Nepalese language.


Binda Pandey – Nepal

She works for the General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions GEFONT (on wikipedia, the GEFONT-homepage beeing blocked by a virus, as mentioned), and for the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mines and General Workers’ Unions (

AIT alumna from Nepal Nominated as a Single Entity for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005.

Find her name on Google blog-search.

She says also (about on quotas for the participation of women in trade union decision-making structures and meetings): … “They are, without a doubt, very useful in developing countries, where it is very difficult for a woman trade union leader to gain acceptance. Although the delegations attending international trade union congresses are more mixed than in the past, it’s still rare to see a woman getting up and speaking, because there are still too few of them in the posts of general secretary and chairperson. I’m convinced that it would be even more difficult without quotas for women (and young people), which is why this system has to be maintained, and even strengthened, for some years to come. The ITUC Constitution demands at least 30% female participation in trade union delegations and meetings, but women represent 40% of the ITUC’s membership. So why not demand 40% female representation in delegations and meetings?”. (full interview text).

1000peacewomen … Unfazed by teargas shells, batons and rubber bullets, Binda Pandey (born 1966) is at the vanguard of those fighting to restore democracy in Nepal. This firebrand trade union leader was arrested and released three times in 2004 for campaigning for democracy on the streets of Kathmandu. Since February 1, she has been on a government watchlist, and is disallowed from leaving Kathmandu valley.

Pandey is the leader of a major iron and chemical workers’ unions in Nepal. From May 2004, she has been deputy secretary general of GEFONT, a confederation of Nepali trade unions. She was a central secretariat member and chief of its department of education from 2001 to 2004, and secretary of its department of foreign affairs from 1997 to 2000. From 1993 to 2000, she was secretary of its central women workers’ department.

Pandey has close ties with the international trade union movement, and is presidium member of the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mines and General Workers’ Unions (ICEM). Addressing her fellow trade unionists last year, she emphatically condemned the crackdown on pro-democracy activists in Nepal. She has also been a member of the national executive committee of the National Labor Academy from September 2003.

It has been a long, remarkable journey for a young woman who was born into a rural farming family in Nuwakot, a hill district. Growing up in a conservative environment, Pandey charted her own path by going to school and by acquiring Master’s degrees in science and gender development. The women in her neighborhood were not encouraged to pursue higher education, but Pandey made her own rules – apart from pursuing higher education, she became active in the students’ movement.

She took another unconventional step by joining the trade union movement rather than getting married or pursuing a more sedate profession, at a time when the autocratic Panchayat system was in force. Having a woman activist in the movement encouraged other young women to join. During the 1990 pro-democracy movement, Pandey played a coordinating role, manning the communication center and taking responsibility for liaising between different parties.

Pandey joined GEFONT as an educator in 1991, gradually moving up the ranks. Among her various achievements is her organizing of a series of educational activities to identify the needs of the movement’s rank and file, making efforts to address their needs, organizing training to develop human resources, and raising awareness of its work through training sessions, seminars, study circles, and literacy programs.

Pandey has been involved in developing almost all the publications of GEFONT. She is deeply interested in documenting women’s participation in different movements, and has researched many aspects of their involvement.

She is currently engaged in researching women’s participation in political movements in Nepal.

Pandey worked from 1994 to 1997 as a program coordinator for the Committee for Asian Women – Regional Labor, an NGO based in Hong Kong, and has gained considerable knowledge and experience of the challenges faced by working women throughout Asia. She was an executive committee member from 1997 to 2000.

She has served on the National Women’s Commission formed by the Government of Nepal from March 2001-03. She has been a very vocal advocate of promoting women’s rights to strengthen democracy. During her time with the NWC, considerable effort was devoting to analyzing the Constitution from a gender perspective. She has also served as an active member and treasurer of the All Nepal Women Association (ANWA).

Her research work and publications include, Women Workers’ Rights in Male Dominated and Female Dominated garment factories: A Case Study in Nepal; Women Participation in Nepalese Labor Movement, study report, 2000; and Trainers’ Guide (Prashikshanko Kitab) (put together with a team), 1998. (1000peacewomen).

link: The Google download book: The Indian Mutiny 1857-58, By G. W. Forrest, 1997, 550 pages.

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