Women in Mongolia

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Women in Mongolia
Mongolwomen.jpg
Mongolian women
Gender Inequality Index
Value 0.328 (2012)
Rank 44th
Maternal mortality (per 100,000) 63 (2010)
Women in parliament 12.7% (2012)
Females over 25 with secondary education 83.0% (2010)
Women in labour force 54.3% (2011)
Global Gender Gap Index[1]
Value 0.713 (2017)
Rank 53rd out of 144

Mongolian women had a higher social status than women in many other Asian societies, but were considered unable to herd cattle and possibly not horses. Only one woman, Toregene, became supreme ruler in between maturity of the elected chosen Khan following Genghis Khan's introduction of heredity possibly claimed by the Tatars he was last with, and four Khatuns shared governorship and regional powers with Khublai Khan.

Many were herdswomen and mothers, but during the Middle Ages, some were women horse-archers and swordswomen, and Hun descendant sawkele impassioned women fighters were accepted but the Yassa while not prohibiting recommends them to commerce probably of their dairy produce or means them to kill rather than fight or as members of the Khuriltai, a Mongol governmental council.

Genghis Khan's daughters were made army combat generals by him, including Altanqalan who made her husband separate from all his female friends respectively divorce all his wives. Some women were Mongol city commanders and khatuns and bekis in war for the rank of command in battle this gave, but khatuns were married to prolong the race.

Traditional status of Mongolian women[edit]

Mongolian women have historically enjoyed a somewhat higher status than women from other East Asian cultures. Women in Mongolia played vital roles in the family and economic life. Some more elite women had more opportunities than poor women, yet the demanding lifestyle required all women to work. Each household member had responsibilities, yet those of women tended to be much greater loads.[2] In many cultures, women were expected to run the domestic duties in a household, yet women in Mongolia also managed out of the home work such as taking care of animals, manufacturing dairy products, shearing wool, and tanning hides.[2] Through their household work, women in elite ranks of society were able to further their roles in order to gain substantial amounts of power. Those less fortunate were unable to benefit from their domestic work. When the Mongol empire collapsed, poor women in society were unable to get any sort of proper health care or any opportunity for education and leisure.[2]

Nomadic women in Mongolia have typically been those responsible for collecting buckets of water, cooking meals for the family, keeping livestock healthy, collecting wood for fires, nursing and raising children, making clothing, and generally keeping all domestic affairs in order.[3]

History has proved that the perception of Mongolian women today has revealed many contradictions.[4] Many cultures that surround the Mongolian women are seen as subordinate to men; yet for Mongolian women today, they are dominated by noble womanhood.[4] It is said that Mongolian women have traditionally had a higher degree of social positions and autonomy than women in the Islamic societies of Asia, China and Korea.[3] For those women who were widowed or left because of husbands in the military, taking over their jobs was often a common compromise. Although this did take place in many Mongol societies, women were still considered subordinate to men. Women were also domestically restricted in what they were and were not allowed to take part in when their husbands were around. Firm actions of this subordination were taken place in daily activities such as women were only allowed to tend to sheep, yet men were responsible for horses- a lamb versus a stallion in generic historical terms.[3]

Mongolian People's Republic[edit]

Mongolian People's Republic is the period of Mongolian history which existed between 1924 and 1992 as a unitary sovereign socialist state in East Asia. It was ruled by the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party and maintained close links with the Soviet Union throughout its history.[5]

During this period, women in Mongolia obtained de jure equal rights. They had universal participation in all levels of education. In 1985, 63% of students in higher educational establishments were women along with 58% of the students in secondary schools.[3] During the time frame, there were 51% women workers and 49% male.

Educated women began teaching and taking charge in the medicine department in 1979. These were both generally thought as the more female fields, and more than 60% of all doctors were female. Teaching was also predominantly a women’s job with 67% of all teachers in general schools and 33% of teachers in higher educational schools.[3] Despite having formal legal equality, as in other socialist states, de facto women remained subordinated to men.

Marriage[edit]

Mongolian woman with her child

Weddings in Mongolia are one of the most influential days of a man and woman's life together. Weddings are celebrated events that at times are even more important and births or deaths. In the past, history explains that Mongolian women were often married as young women of ages about 13 to 14.[6] Boys were often married a bit older than women. In modern day, those with less money normally marry in their earlier 20's, while those more urban marry later in their 20's and 30's.[6] Mongolians normally have arranged marriages and once a man is married he is not allowed to marry thereafter. Monogamy is practiced.[6] Dating is not as common for those with less money such as herders, yet sex prior to marriage is practiced. When a woman gets married, normally she is expected to go and live with the grooms family. When a womans husband passes away, it is not uncommon for her to marry her husband's brother.[6] This is an old Mongolian tradition. Marriage for Mongolians is normally a contract; an arrangement to meet the requirements of both families rather than religious events.[6] Many marriages in Mongolia are between friends or coworkers, that way women were married into their own social status.[6]

Reproduction rights[edit]

Terms changed in 1921 when women were considered more of a value into economic growth for the population. A revolution began that year with determinations to bring women more into the public sphere.[3] This was the first step in the states effort to promote population growth; a strong emphasis on women’s reproductive capacities.[3] Women were pressured into having multiple children as part of their civic duties to the state.

Politics[edit]

History of Women's Political Affiliation[edit]

The political alignment in Mongolia for women is the belief that women are discriminated against because they are women. Women also believe that they have little legitimacy when discussing political affairs with men.[4] In the most traditional sense, in nomadic society, women were not allowed to partake in the formal political sphere as their decisions were limited to the household.[4] The subordination from a man to a women in Mongolia came to an end in 1921. This granted women citizen rights.[4] The new constitution also gave equal rights to all citizens of Mongolia without focus of origin, sex, gender, or beliefs.[4] In 1924, Mongolian women were able to vote and potentially be elected as President. The Women's Federation was also founded which was funded by the state itself allowing more women to become more active participants in the political system.[4] Although many actions were taken, there is still much to be said for women in the political system and desire for the equality they would eventually like to have and deserve.

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Library of Congress Country Studies website http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/. (Data as of June 1989.)

  1. ^ "The Global Gender Gap Report" (PDF). World Economic Forum. 2017. pp. 240–241. 
  2. ^ a b c Rossabi, Morris. "Women in Modern Mongolia". Asia Society. Retrieved 2017-07-16. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Hays, Jeffrey. "WOMEN, FAMILIES AND GENDER ROLES IN MONGOLIA | Facts and Details". factsanddetails.com. Retrieved 2017-07-16. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Burn, Nalini (2001). "Women in Mongolia" (PDF). RefWorld. Retrieved 2017-07-25. 
  5. ^ Cotton, James (1989). D. K. Adams, ed. Asian Frontier Nationalism: Owen Lattimore and the American Policy Debates. Manchester University Press. p. 130. ISBN 978-0-7190-2585-3. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f Hays, Jeffrey. "MARRIAGE AND WEDDINGS IN MONGOLIA | Facts and Details". factsanddetails.com. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]