Mongolia: Promoting gender equality and decent work and economic growth on the provincial level

Background information
Commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and
Development (BMZ), Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit
(GIZ) Integrated Mineral Resource Initiative (IMRI) program supports the Mongolian
decision makers in promoting sustainable social and economic development,
economic policies and strategies for inclusive growth and aims to increase
employment opportunities and supplement existing incomes of local citizens.
Mongolia’s extractive industry is highly volatile and has so far not produced the
expected social and economic benefits for the people. Due to its extreme economic
dependency on the mining sector, the Mongolian Government decided to pursue a
sectorial diversification strategy which will focus on tourism and agriculture as
additional strategic sectors. Both sectors provide a largely untapped potential for
employment and income generation in local areas of Mongolia.
Through the “Integrated Community Development Partnership” (ICDP) project in
three of Mongolia´s provinces (Bayankhongor, Selenge and Uvs), IMRI supports
cooperation among local community groups and contributes to long term local and
regional economic development based on a solid community partnership including
stakeholders such as the local government, Small & Medium Enterprises, Civil
Society Organizations, companies and citizens.
Contributing to the implementation of the SDG 2030 Agenda and its development
goals, IMRI is committed to take concrete steps together with partners and
stakeholders in order to achieve the SDG goals referring to gender equality, decent
work and economic growth. Implementing the Women’s Empowerment Principles
since 2015, GIZ officially committed itself to demonstrating leadership on gender 

equality and promoting women’s empowerment and gender equality in the
workplace, community and partner organizations.
According to GIZ Mongolia’s Gender Strategy, IMRI conducted a gender analysis
evaluating the current gender issues in relevant sectors in Mongolia in order to
determine further steps and action plan on gender equality and gender
mainstreaming. Following the action plan, we conducted gender related trainings and
workshops focused on gender stereotypes, mainstreaming, equality and gender
sensitive policy and planning for representatives from state organizations, SMEs,
CSOs and mining companies. As a result of the capacity building, IMRI certified a
total of 53 local trainers who could train various topics in three pilot provinces,
including 2-3 trainers specialized on gender topic in each province.
In cooperation with the National Committee on Gender Equality (NCGE) of the
Government of Mongolia, IMRI organized a series of gender roundtables on women
leadership in the business sector, women’s political participation for sustainable
development and social and health issues of men in the mining industry. Suggestions
and feedback from the roundtables were integrated into the National Program on
Gender Equality (2017-2021) by NCGE.
As part of GIZ`s promotion of gender strategy and gender work, IMRI celebrates
each year in March a special gender week. Including all relevant stakeholders and
partners of IMRI, various activities on gender equality and women’s empowerment
are carried out. Also, Girls and Boys Days have been organized not only in
Ulaanbaatar city, but also on the provincial level (Selenge and Bayankhongor
provinces).

Current challenge
Women employment rates remain well below men’s, but gender gaps in employment
rates have narrowed in almost three-quarters of OECD countries since 2012. Some
groups of women face especially high barriers to equal participation in the labor
market. Mothers and women with lower levels of education, skills and income tend to
fare worse than their peers.
In Mongolia many women stay home to take care of their young or disabled children,
to support their working spouses, but mostly for being unemployed. The overall data
shows that unemployment rates on the provincial level are significantly higher than in
Ulaanbaatar and other big cities. According to the national statistical data by
September 2017, the unemployment rate is 9.1% for Mongolia, gradually increasing
from 7.7% in 2011. In addition, 2016 statistics data show that there were 34 412
registered jobless citizens, 51.7% of them women (Mongolian Statistical Information
Service, Nov 2017)

. Moreover, Bayankhongor province has a total population of
85,331, of which 52 942 citizens (62%) were in the age bracket for participating in the
labor market (2016). Currently, out of those 52,942 people 40,109 or about 76% of
people are employed. Despite of 1,003 working disabled citizens, the remaining
locals were unemployed, including 6,200 women (Statistics data by Governor Office,
Bayankhongor, Dec 2016). This data shows that 63% of the local jobless people in
Bayankhongor are women.
In order to tackle the current local issue on equal job opportunities for men and
women and to enhance women’s empowerment, to strengthen the cooperation
between IMRI and its stakeholders and to support the long term local economic
development, IMRI team is implementing a small project in Bayankhongor province
to improve employment opportunities for local unemployed women. IMRI is
represented by two of its members, the GIZ IMRI gender focal point person and the
IMRI local coordinator based in Bayankhongor province.

Contribution
While local women manage their family chores and businesses, they often try to
contribute to their household incomes by producing dairy products or sewing various
clothes and making small sellable items such as felt slippers, key chains, jewelries etc. Based on their potential and interests, IMRI team aims to encourage and support
local women to produce some quality souvenirs for the national tourism market in
order to be self-employed, to increase their family incomes, to unify a group of stayhome women with same interests, to create some provincial brand products and to
support local tourism sector.

Cooperation
The IMRI team utilizes its Integrated Community Development Partnership approach,
which is a multi-stakeholder based process including local government, SME
companies, and civil society organizations for this project. The gender focused
project benefits from IMRI’s strong cooperation between the local Governor
Administration Office and its relevant divisions, the local CSO network and SME
business council in Bayankhongor. Since our cooperation has been continuing for
the last three years, working together on gender equality and the promotion of decent
work is one of our key success factors. In addition, behind every woman there is a
husband, brothers, male friends or children. Families and community usually
communicate and encourage good initiatives for society. Therefore, twelve women
who used to stay home, plus their families, friends, relatives, neighbors and
community are now enjoying knowledge about gender equality issues, local job
opportunities and access to local stakeholder support facilities. Initiating such a
project in order to bring the community together is a great cause for sustainable
development. As with the CSO representatives, there are local trainers specialized
on gender topics in each project province. For the long term local capacity building
and public awareness of gender issues and related activities, these trainers have
been contributing their skills and knowledge to the public, providing relevant
information, conducting trainings and workshops and promoting women leadership
and equal opportunities for women and men.

 

The whole competition entry can be downloaded. (in English)  Download "2018 EN Project Documentation Promoting Gender Equality Decent Work And Economic Growth On The Provincial Level In Mongolia" (pdf)

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