Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ Gender equality is a fundamental human right and the advancement of gender equality is one of the critical development and policy objectives for Mongolia. While Mongolia has made steady progress towards improving gender equality in the past, there are still number of challenges and barriers for women to have an equal representation and participation in social, professional, and political spheres.
As of 2020, 17.1 percent of the Mongolia’s Parliament, the highest legislative body, are female, which is well below the global average of 24.9 percent. Furthermore, only 27.1 percent of the local Citizen’s representative Hural members are female. Though Mongolia ranked as a country with high gender development, the country’s gender inequality index is below the regional and global average according to UNDP’s 2020 Human Development Report.
Yesterday, Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and United Nations Development Programme in Mongolia (UNDP) signed the “Promoting Gender Equality in Decision-Making in Mongolia” project which will be implemented in the next four years with 4.8 million USD funding from the Government of the Republic of Korea and 0.3 million USD from UNDP as well as the 0.9 million USD more funding from KOICA for monitoring and evaluation of the project.
The project will support the Government of Mongolia to address the issue of underrepresentation of women in elected offices through strengthening the legal environment for women’s representation at decision-making level as well as the support mechanisms for women to overcome structural and other factors for pursuing a career in public leadership while raising public awareness on gender equality in decision-making among voters, political parties and the media.
“Women have higher education and lower unemployment rates than men but on average they earn less than men, experience high rates of gender-based violence, and are inadequately represented in decision-making at the national and sub-national levels in Mongolia. The Covid-19 pandemic has also exacerbated existing gender inequalities. We are confident that this project will provide timely and much needed support for the Government of Mongolia and Mongolian people to address these issues” stated UNDP Resident Representative Elaine Conkievich.
In Mongolia, the most common causes for gender inequality at the decision-making level are gendered stereotypes and cultural norms as well as the ‘male-dominated’ political structures that not only discourage women to pursue a political career but also contributes to the shortage of the necessary networking and capacity building for women to succeed in political career.
“In terms of women’s rights, KOICA has been implementing projects aiming for women’s reproductive rights, health, and economic empowerment with partner countries. This project, however, focuses more on gender equality in decision making in public, which will ultimately contribute to the goal for a fair society in Mongolia.” said Country Director of KOICA Mongolia Office Jo Haeng-Ian.
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About KOICA (Korea International Cooperation Agency)
The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) was established as a government agency in 1991, is dedicated to providing grant aid programs of the Government of the Republic of Korea. KOICA endeavors to combat poverty and support the sustainable socio-economic growth of partner countries. For more information, visit http://koica.go.kr
Source: UNDP Mongolia