Women Leadership Forum with 400 prominent national and local leaders

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Press releases, 05.07.2019

In a bid to address the continued decline of female representation in politics in Mongolia, more than 400 people from throughout the country gathered at a Women Leaders’ Forum in June to discuss the challenges and ways ahead. 

The forum provided female Members of Parliament and representatives from Ulaanbaatar, rural khurals, development agencies and the media with a platform to share knowledge, experiences and best practices, expand their networks, and learn from one another.

President of National Council of the Swiss Confederation Marina Carobbio at the Women's Leadership Forum
President of National Council of the Swiss Confederation Marina Carobbio at the Women's Leadership Forum © SDC Mongolia

“Women’s political representation at the municipal level has decreased in the past two elections,” said L. Ulziisaikhan, National Project Director of the Strengthening Representative Bodies in Mongolia Project being implemented by Mongolia’s Parliament and UNDP Mongolia with support from Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. “Of the elected 8000 representatives in 2012, 27.3 percent were women, which was lower than in 2008 elections. The candidacy of women politicians is also decreasing.” 

In her speech at the forum, the President of the National Council of the Swiss Confederation Marina Carobbio Guscetti emphasised the importance of equal representation in politics and the potential ramifications of underrepresentation. 

“While women continue to be underrepresented in political institutions, too little will be done on issues such as ensuring equal pay, putting an end to domestic violence, and achieving a work-life balance,” Ms Carobbio said. 

“Fair representation is also a question of democracy and social justice. Our representative democracies are based precisely on the idea that the various components of society - the different ways of thinking, the generations, the regions, the professions, and the sexes - are fairly represented in order to ensure that the decisions made are balanced ones.” 

One of the highlights of the forum was the sharing of leadership experiences by eight women via video and live presentations, which was aimed at putting changemakers in the spotlight and enabling them to inspire others. Their experiences ranged from building a kindergarten in a ger district through crowdfunding to organize one of the earliest public hearings on access to health services.