Pandey was involved in the Student movement for more than a decade from 1980 to 1992. In 1992, she joined the All Nepal Women Association(ANWA) which was affiliated with the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist–Leninist) CPN(UML). She was elected as a treasurer of ANWA in November 1992. She was given a responsibility to organize women laborers through its Central Women Workers Department (CWWD) of General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions (GEFONT). She later became the secretary of the CWWD, for which she worked until 2000.
Working in the trade union movement, Pandey represented GEFONT in the Committee for Asian Women (CAW), a regional organization working for women workers in 13 Asian countries. She spent three years in Hong Kong as a program coordinator of CAW from 1994 to 1997. After returning from Hong Kong in August 1997, Pandey continued her role as secretary of CWWD and then took over additional responsibilities as a secretary of the Foreign Department and as a member of the Education Department of GEFONT. In the third congress of GEFONT in 2000, she was elected as a chief of the Education department. Since 2004, she has served as a deputy general secretary of GEFONT. After working closely with laborers and women activists inside and outside of the country, she decided to obtain some more academic knowledge and joined a master’s course on Gender and Development Studies in Asian Institute of Technologies in Bangkok in 2002.
During her tenure as a member of the National Women Commission (NWC) from 2002 to 2004, she concentrated on drafting NWC’s bill, gender analysis of the constitution and preparing recommendation on gender perspectives. She was elected as a member of the Constitution Assembly through the proportional representation of the CPN (UML). She, along with other feminist members in the assembly, protested when the Nepali word Rashtrapati was used for President, for its male-centric connotation. The group had proposed to replace the title with another word Rashtradhyachhya but it is yet to be implemented. She has said that the job of making all the members convince on women’s issues is tougher than taking women’s issues to the streets. but says she will “continue to fight to make the coming constitution really sensitive to gender issue”.
In 2011, Pandey was elected as the Deputy Member of ILO Governing Body for three years and reelected for next tenure in 2014. As a politician, she was elected as central committee member of CPN-UML as open contestant in 2009 by eighth national general convention and politburo member in 2014 after ninth national general convention.