Mitini Nepal (MN) is a non-governmental organization working on the issues of lesbians, bisexuals and transgender and is the pioneer organization for LBT movement. It was established in 2005 with the aim of protecting and promoting human rights of the sexual and gender minorities’ people of Nepal. After its initial inception in 2002, it has expanded its’ services through two branches in Hetauda, Makwanpur as well as in Birtamod, Jhapa. It was established by first lesbian couple of Nepal Laxmi Ghalan and Meera Bajracharya. It has been dedicated to create an active network of LBT across the national, regional and international level. It is solely dedicated to make these people self-reliant, provide psychosocial counseling services, legal information and information regarding on sexually transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS, SRHR etc. in order to ensure the rights of sexual and gender minorities of Nepal. Mitini Nepal believes in multi-generational and intersectional issues in the LGBTI community and works for the elder LGBTI community members as well as advocates for their rights.
Mitini Nepal started its journey in 2002 AD with the establishment of “Mitini Support Group”. The concept of having a separate and safe space for lesbian women led to the formation of ‘Mitini Support Group’ that implemented programs and activities for lesbians. Since lesbians are the vulnerable and marginalized within LGBTI community, and their voices and concerns are often ignored. Laxmi Ghalan and Meera Bajracharya, the first openly lesbian Nepali couple led the group.
At first, the group, consisting of 5 members, provided a safe platform for lesbian women to voice out their issues and prioritize their concerns freely without being diluted among the issues of gays and transgenders. The group raised societal awareness on the various issues and concerns faced by lesbians, bisexual and transgender women such as human rights, sexuality, political participation, health and other gender-related issues and concerns. The group also engaged and involved the LBT women and various stakeholders in bringing about positive, empowering and liberating changes in the lives of LBT women, and conducted programs to develop and enhance the capacity of LBT women to become advocates and leaders in the LGBT movement.
In 2003, Mitini Nepal Group started a hotline service solely for lesbians with an aim to reach out to other lesbian women and share information about lesbians. This program was very successful and helped many lesbians to come out and share their issues freely. In 2004, Laxmi Ghalan and Meera Bajracharya received 10-day training in Sangini, India, where they learned about effective operation of hotline service, counseling for lesbians and their family members, and community peer sharing. After this, they worked extensively to raise awareness on lesbian issues through pamphlets, hotline service, counseling, and email.
In 2005, Mitini Nepal Support Group was renamed as ‘Mitini Nepal’ and registered in Kathmandu District Administrative Office as a Non-Government Organization (Not For Profit). In 2007, Mitini Nepal formed its own advisory and executive board. Since 2007, Mitini Nepal has been receiving an annual operational grant from Global Fund for Women. MN established its branches in Jhapa and Makwanpur districts in 2007 with the support from Mama Cash.
Since 2005, MN has been advocating for the inclusion of LBT women in The Women’s Movement and has been closely working with women-rights organizations. One high profile example: From 2012 to 2014, there was a case of a lesbian couple, Rajini and Prem Kumari Nepali. Rajini was a married woman and her husband and in-laws were against their relationship but Rajini and Prem Kumari wanted to stay together. With support from GFW, Urgent Action Fund (UAF) and TEWA, Mitini Nepal took the case and filed a petition in the Supreme Court. On 5th Nov 2012, Supreme Court (SC) permitted a lesbian couple to live together as per their wish. But, in-laws of Rajini threatened to kill them and hence, they were relocated from Kathmandu.
We conduct capacity development programs such as leadership development, human rights, legal awareness and other training on sexual and gender rights.
We provide both psychosocial and legal counseling services to lesbians, bisexual women, and transgender.
We conduct qualitative and quantitative research on LBT women’s issues including challenges and also document their stories as narratives. We are lobbying to help with the next Nepal Census to acquire the first national data on the subject.
It envisions and advocates for a peaceful, prosperous society where sexual and gender minorities’ community can live with self-esteem and dignity while enjoying human rights without any discrimination, violence, assault and fear.
We advocate for the access of political, legal, social, economic and educational rights of LBT people by strengthening coordination, collaboration, network and develop mutual understanding among all concerned stakeholders as well as by capacitating excluded and vulnerable LBT individuals in order to create an egalitarian environment for sexual and gender minorities.
To Empower LBTI people to access equal rights to live free from violence, persecution, discrimination and stigma.