Opening remarks for “Let’s participate- Let’s represent”- Generations of female parliamentarians conference

OPENING REMARK of UNDP in Mongolia Resident Representative Elaine Conkievich for conference on “Let’s participate- Let’s represent”- Generations of female parliamentarians, held 07 September 2022

September 9, 2022

Good afternoon, greetings to the honorable chairperson of the State Great Hural G.Zandanshatar, vice-chairperson of the State Great Hural MP S.Odontuya, head of the Standing Committee on State Structures MP J. Munkhbat, head of the Women's Caucus in the Parliament MP D.Sarangerel, and the generations of female parliamentarians.

I would really like to congratulate all of you, all of the women here gathered together to mark the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the democratic constitution of Mongolia and the 30th anniversary of the establishment of a permanent parliament.

It is really an honor for me to be here, to see all of you gathered here today. 

I would like to turn specifically to some recommendations and areas I think I would be important for consideration and discussions today as we already heard about statistics and legislation in Mongolia around gender equality and women in politics. The first today has been mentioned about quota in legislation.

While there is no 100% guarantee that a candidacy quota will ensure gender equality in the parliament, a temporary special measure in the legislation is a globally accepted approach to ensure there is at least a certain percentage of women in the legislature and we would hope that such a measure would be adopted and implemented in Mongolia.

Beyond a legal binding, and sufficiently high quota, for example 35 or better 40%, in the legislation, the election system, political financing, voter education, are other factors are impacting achievement of gender equality in decision making.

Therefore, we need to take new policy approaches to ensure gender equality at all levels of elected office. Namely:

  • Increasing the candidacy quota. According to a perceptions survey conducted in 2021 by UNDP under our KOICA funded project, the citizens who have knowledge of the quota have stated that 20 percent is not enough, and that it should be over 35 percent, so let’s listen to the population and raise and implement the quota.
  • The election system should consider every vote and the system must be favorable to all candidates, that is for women as well as men.
  • Methods and initiatives need to be implemented to reduce election-related costs, in particular for women who traditionally have not had the same access to financing for political campaigning.
  • Providing additional funding as an incentive for political parties if the party nominates more women than the quota.
  • Providing public funding to political parties to support gender equality measures,
  • And supporting policy-level initiatives to foster political parties to become gender-transformative political parties. 

In the future, I have no doubt that the as an "island of democracy" in the heart of Asia, Mongolian political parties, members of parliament, civil society organizations, academics and citizens will actively work to increase the participation of women in political decision-making. UNDP places its full support and cooperation with you in reaching this goal together with the next election cycle in 2024.

Let’s participate/Let’s represent is the main slogan of today’s event and the UNDP-led, KOICA-funded project, ‘Promoting gender equality in public decision-making and women’s empowerment in Mongolia.’ 

With this slogan in mind, I call upon all stakeholders to ensure their active participation to advocate for and support gender equality and women’s participation in decision-making.

And with this I would like to recognize and thank the important contribution to Mongolia’s development that female MPs have made over the decades, and my sincere wish is that the next convocation of the State Great Hural will be convened with women in equal representation to men, which I fully confident will solidify Mongolia’s attainment of SDGs and place Mongolia well on your path to fulfill Vision 2050, which are ultimately aimed at creating sustainable, inclusive, and prosperous lives for all Mongolians, for each and every woman and man, and every girl and boy. Thank you and once again my deepest congratulations to the women MPs we celebrate today.