Mongolia lags in three of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): poverty reduction, environmental sustainability and gender equality, according to the UNDP country report for 2012-2016.
Gender equality and women’s empowerment— UN MDG goal three—uses the guidelines of political representation, education and economic earnings to help gage how countries are progressing. Statistics for Mongolia show that women tend to be more educated than men, according to the UNDP report for 2012-2016. Boys in the countryside are expected to work in the fields to help the family, while studying is prioritized for girls.
This trend extends into the university years, with more women in college (at 60-70 percent) than men. Yet, despite their more educated status, economically women are still at a disadvantage to men, earning less. Mongolian women also have had historically low political representation.
Before the 2012 elections, political representation for women was 3.9 percent, one of the lowest rates globally, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Owing to the newly-established quota system of 20 percent, nine women were voted into seats in parliament in June of this year—tripling women’s political representation to 12 percent. Though this current figure represents an improvement, in some ways it is a regaining of political power. Ten years ago representation was at 12 percent, but declining by 2008 to 3.9 percent. The MDG for gender equality has a benchmark of 30 percent representation for women in government. The global average is 19.7 percent.
Read more at The UB Post, published 2 September 2012.