11 Incredible Nepali Women Who Shined Bright In 2016

Samina Baig, the only Pakistani female mountaineer to have climbed Mt. Everest, had once said, “I want to tell women in developing countries that they are as powerful as their male counterparts, and they can play an equal role in their respective societies.” We absolutely second that, in fact, we won’t be surprised to know that women are actually more capable and more powerful. The same can be seen in Nepal as the women here are reaching all around the world doing things people didn’t believe they could do. Politics, arts, music, sports, fashion, social work, business or anything – our women are absolutely shining all the way.

As the year 2016 is coming to an end,we have listed ten incredible women whose works got recognized internationally and made all of us proud this year. Here’s the list in alphabetical order.

1. Arpana Rayamajhi

Photo: arpanarayamajhi.com

It was a great year for the New York based artist and jewelry designer. Arpana Rayamajhi’s work made it to Victoria’s Secret fashion show in Paris this year. Her jewelries were flaunted by supermodels Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid and Adriana Lima among others at the fashion show. The 29-year-old also got featured in The New York Times 30 Under 30.

2. Bidhya Devi Bhandari

Photo: Sheva

Nepal Prez Bidhya Devi Bhandari was ranked at no. 52 on the list of world’s most powerful women by Forbes this year. The 55-year-old had become Nepal’s first woman president in October 2015.

3. Gaurika Singh

Photo: Telegraph

Well, what do we say about this wonder girl. It was a big, big year for Gaurika Singh. The 13-year-old swimmer won four medals – one silver and three bronze for Nepal this year at 2016 South Asian Games held in Guwahati, India. She was the youngest Olympian at the 2016 Summer Olympics held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where she represented Nepal in the Women’s 100m backstroke.

4. Jolly Amatya

Earlier this year in August, Jolly Amatya became the first Nepalese to be appointed as the ‘Youth Chair’ for the Youth Assembly at the United Nations. She successfully led the Youth Assembly at the United Nations headquarters in New York that had a participation of 1000 youth representatives from 97 countries.

5. Junita Lama

Junita Lama is the only Nepali who won a major international pageant this year. A nurse by profession in Sydney, she won the title of ‘Pageant of the world 2016’ in Australia in July this year. She had also bagged 1st runner up position at Miss Nepal Australia in 2014.

6. Luna Ranjit

Luna Ranjit, a right activist based in New York, was awarded with Grinnell Prize this year in August. The co-founder and strategic advisor of Adhikaar, an organization working for social justice movement for Nepali-speaking community, had won $100,000 Grinnell College Innovator for Social Justice Prize. A day dedicated to her, Luna Ranjit Day was celebrated in New York on September 29 to recognize her incredible work.

7. Mira Rai

Photo: Llyod Belcher

Ultra runner Mira Rai could not compete any many races this year as she had got injured during a race in the UK earlier this year. She then had to go through surgery at a hospital in Italy in July. She is still recovering from it and is looking forward to hit the trails soon. However, she did achieve something big this year. She was nominated as one of the ten National Geographic Adventurers of the Year 2016. Voting lines had been opened online where people could vote for their favorite adventurer and seems like she has won the award as until very last day of the voting, she was leading the poll with a huge margin. However, the winner will only be announced in January but we’re pretty sure that she has done it.

8. Prakriti Shrestha

Prakriti Shrestha is a Sydney based natural body builder and fitness model who won six gold medals and one silver medal at various championships held in Australia this year. The 36-year-old who is a Technical Manager by profession, also competed at the world titlesĀ  in Budapest, Hungary.

9. Pushpa Basnet

The founder of Early Childhood Development Center and Butterfly Home, Pushpa Basnet was awarded with CNN Hero of the Year in 2012. And right when we thought that there is no nominee from Nepal for the prestigious award this year, the 33-year-old bagged CNN SupherHero of the decade award at CNN Heroes All-Star Tribute event held at American Museum of Natural History in New York in December.

10. Raveena Desraj Shrestha

Raveena Desraj Shrestha was honored at 2016 Congress of AMAEA & Aisa Top Brand Masters Grand Awards in S. Korea in November this year for her contributions not only in the corporate world but for her humanitarian and social works. The General Manager of Mega Bank has been honored with Lady of Excellence award in Singapore and Golden Phoenix award in Malaysia before.

11. Subina Shrestha

Al Jazeera’s Nepal based correspondent, Subina Shrestha, was nominated for International Emmy in 2016 News & Current Affairs category by the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Even though she didn’t win the award, it is a huge achievement in itself to be nominated for the most reputed television award in the world.

We are super proud of you, ladies. Take a bow!


Neeraj Pun (NEO)

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