6 Promote gender equality and empower women

Where we are?


Current status

TARGET 6. Achieve appropriate sex ratio in primary and secondary education preferably by 2009 and in all levels by 2015

Difficult to achieve
* Achievable with more effort
On-track
Fully achieved

Since 1995 Mongolia has had more girls than boys enrolled at all educational levels. This situation has begun to change gradually over the last 20 years.

By 2000 an almost equal number of girls and boys were enrolled at the primary level but since then girls’ enrolment has declined slowly. By 2012 the girls to boys enrolment ratio at the primary level was 0.95. Disparity in the ratio of girls to boys at the primary education level varies by region and across rural and urban areas. In the Eastern region there are only 94 girls to 100 boys whereas in the settlements of the Western and Khangai regions the ratio of girls to boys is fairly equal.

A similar trend has been observed for secondary and tertiary education levels as the enrolment of boys has picked up in recent years. So even though more girls than boys continue to be enrolled in secondary and tertiary levels, the ratios are declining gradually. A greater desire by the boys to enter the labour market without completing secondary education seems to be a probable reason for this imbalance. The target needs more effort to be achieved by 2015.

Gender Ration at the educational sector (%)

Source: MSC, Database of MDG indicators based on administrative records of the Ministry of Education and Science

TARGET 7. Ensure gender equality in wage employment

Difficult to achieve
Achievable with more effort
* On-track
Fully achieved

In 2012, the labor force participation rate was 69 percent for men and 58.4 percent for women. The 11 percentage point differential is influenced by factors such as high enrolment rates of female students in tertiary education, the larger number of women engaged in household activities and childcare, and the fact that women retire earlier than men. Overall, the share of women engaging in non-agricultural paid jobs has decreased. This decline is associated with the economic crisis of 2008. The rapid growth of the mining sector, with a predominant male workforce, has had a negative impact on gender parity.

The share of women engaged in non-agricultural sector varies by aimags. More than half the employees who engage in non-agricultural employment are women in Arkhangai, Uvs and Bayankhongor aimags while this share amounts to 30 percent in Umnugovi aimag. On the other hand, men outnumber women in Dornogovi, Govisumber, Darkhan-Uul, Sukhbaatar and Orkhon.

The target to increase the female employment share in non-agricultural wage employment is close to 50 percent already and so is on track to be achieved by 2015. Still, additional interventions that encourage women to remain in wage employment are necessary to ensure that the target is achieved by 2015.


TARGET 8. Increase participation of women in politics and decision-making

*Difficult to achieve
Achievable with more effort
On-track
Fully achieved

The share of women engaged in non-agricultural sector varies by aimags. More than half the employees who engage in non-agricultural employment are women in Arkhangai, Uvs and Bayankhongor aimags while this share amounts to 30 percent in Umnugovi aimag. On the other hand, men outnumber women in Dornogovi, Govisumber, Darkhan-Uul, Sukhbaatar and Orkhon.

The target to increase the female employment share in non-agricultural wage employment is close to 50 percent already and so is on track to be achieved by 2015. Still, additional interventions that encourage women to remain in wage employment are necessary to ensure that the target is achieved by 2015.

Although there are more women than men with tertiary education, the proportion of women at the political, managerial and decision-making positions is still relatively low. This has been attributed to factors such as culture, tradition, political environment of the country.


The proportion of female candidates nominated by political parties or independently nominated to the State Great Hural has been rising since 1992. The target of 30 percent of women candidates to be nominated to the State Great Hural election by 2015 was achieved in the 2012 elections.

However, the proportion of women elected had declined since 2000. A Gender Equality Law was approved in February 2011 setting gender quota for civil service management positions at central and local levels. The Election Law, approved in December 2011, proposed a mixed member system for 76 seats in the Parliament, 48 of which will be elected from local districts and 28 from a national list, with a 20 percent quota for women candidates.

In 2012, out of 76 members of the newly formed Parliament of Mongolia 11 were women, making up less than 14.7 percent of the total number of MPs. Still, it is still lower than the global average and of many Asian countries. Barriers to women’s political participation remain include high campaign costs, gender stereotyping and the political environment.

Women’s representation at the decision-making levels has been declining since the 1990s. Since 2003, women’s ratio in the senior officer or top positions in the government executive organizations has declined steadily.

The MDG target of 30 percent of parliamentary seats held by women is unlikely to be met by 2015.

For more information: Full report

1.1 years
remaining
until 2015

1990 2015
Targets for MDG3
  1. Target 6: Achieve appropriate sex ratio in primary and secondary education preferably by 2009 and in all levels of education institutions by 2015
  2. Target 7: Ensure gender equality in wage employment
  3. Target 8: Increase participation of women in politics and decision making level