Why aren’t the education achievements of Mongolian girls leading to leadership positions?

Mongolia is considered as a country consistently earns good international gender rankings.
Mongolian girls’ education are equal rates with boys in primary and secondary education and
greater rates in higher education. Furthermore, Mongolian girls and women’ education
became workforce advantage. However, these advantages are abolished in decision making
positions in local and national level.
The research will be focus on Ulaanbaatar city where majority of total population of Mongolia
reside in and particularly three local provinces where the girls’ education ratio is higher than
other provinces. Main objective of the research proposal is to investigate why Mongolian girls’
education achievement is not leading to female-led decision making in the community and
study its solutions.

If Mongolian girls’ education achievement is proven as good practice, I will disseminate its
good practice throughout to the world to empower girls’ education.
If traditional social norm/stereotype is proved a key hinder for educated girls and women to
advance in decision making positions, I will develop multilateral influential actions to impact
the girls’ education advantages into female decision-making positions and address to the
national policy makers.

Many different human development indicators show that Mongolia is often described as a
country with relative gender equality. Mongolian girls and women are better educated than
boys and men and enjoy unconstrained personal freedoms. The Law on Promotion of Gender
Equality (LPGE) has been in force since 2011, and Mongolia consistently earns good
international gender rankings; in 2018, the World Economic Forum ranked Mongolia 42nd out
of 142 countries on the Global Gender Gap index.

The belief that gender equality has already been achieved is a legacy of Mongolia’s communist
past and is still present in the public’s consciousness. This belief existed even during the

Chinggis Khan dynasty in 13th century by giving power to Mongolian women who cared for
their households while men went for war or cattle care. Women stayed at home and in charge
of everything including childcare, eldercare, households’ issues even public policies while men
were away.

In the education sector, Mongolian girls’ education is being rated high not only in primary and
middle schools but also in higher education per the Mongolian Statistics Agency.

The EFA-MDA Gender Equality in Education Progress Note (UNICEF, 2009) analysis
revealed that girls school enrolment rates were significantly higher than those of boys in
Malaysia, Mongolia, the Philippines and Thailand. (P.1)

The World Economic Forum’s gender gap indicator for economic participation and opportunity
placed Mongolia 21st in 2006 with a score of 0.704 and moved Mongolia up to the 20th place
in 2018 with a score of 0.780. This is the only of four indicators for economic, education, health
and political performance that has shown some progress.

Mongolia’s statistics show that women’s labour force participation was high in 2006 at 64.8%
of the total of work force, whereas it was 53.4% in 2018. The improvement of Mongolia’s
Gender Development Index (GDI) from 0.717 in 2005 to 1.043 in 2017 is largely explained by
women’s average longevity and educational levels which are both higher than those of men.

The above evidence shows that girls’ education in Mongolia has a significant advantage, and
it is being translated into a workforce advantage. However, if it is really leading to an advantage
in education and the workforce, why are most decision-makers at the local and national level
are men? Most would assume that if you have more education, you will be given greater power.
The situation seems in reverse for Mongolian women; if they are more educated than men, why
aren’t they filling high-ranking positions and serving as decision makers? Why are they not
reaching leadership positions locally and nationally?
These questions stimulate me to write this research proposal.

Objectives of the study:

• To investigate why Mongolian girls’ education achievement is not leading to female-
led decision making in the community

• To study whether Mongolian girls education can be good practice or not.
• To study ways to leverage the girls’ education and workforce advantage in order to
advance female decision-making.

Research Questions
This research will be able to answer three research questions. First, why is Mongolian girls’
education well rated. Second, why can’t Mongolian girls leverage their education
advantage to reach high-ranking positions as decision makers locally and nationally? Third,
is Mongolian girls’ education not leading to leadership positions because of traditional
social norm or stereotype.

I plan to utilize the following methodology to conduct this research:
This study will be limited to the local area of Ulaanbaatar where has 60% of the total population
reside, particularly three main districts such as Sukhbaatar, Chingeltei and Khan-Uul provinces
which are highly educated areas where the girls’ education ratio is higher than other districts
and provinces.
In this research, the targeted people will range from educated girls and women (I refer girls
who have bachelor and masters’ degree) that are entering workforce up to 10 years in the
workforce. The data will be collected by means of questionnaires, individual and group
interviews as well as via an analysis of legal policies and documents.


Research schedule from May – Oct 2019

Research phase Mar Apr May June Jul Aug Sep Oct
Date collection plan
Target audience
Gantt chart &
Formulate tools to be
used for research
Research & Data
Data analysis
(qualitative study)
Field research (fact,
interview &
Preliminary analysis
Updated data
collection plan
Additional study
Research paper
Research paper
review and comments
Finalizing Research
Research paper

Policy Impact:
The statistics and studies show that Mongolian girls’ education is high level it can be
described good practice internationally. But if my research is proven the girls’ education
achievement should be taken next level so that they become decision-makers in their
If another question of my research is answered that is the social norm which became a key
hinder for girls and women not able to take high leadership position, I will address it to our
policy makers and international organizations and approach with multilateral influential
actions that can impact to traditional stereotypes in the society towards gender parity in
decision making positions.

Post-Residency Plan:

As a result of the completing this research, I plan to advance the following ideas to make the
research impactful after I return.
In the short run:
• I will present my research paper to related experts and stakeholders
• If Mongolian girls’ education achievement is proven as good practice, I will form a
team to disseminate through my local and international network throughout to the
world to reflect from the good practice.
• I will utilize my findings to establish a series of girls’ mentorship programs at
Ganabell Institute to generate future decision makers and leaders based on our
training, coaching expertise and research paper advice.
• I will develop new research angle of formulating strategy for policy makers through
multilateral influential campaign to change traditional social norm which hinders girls
and women into decision making positions.
In the long run:
• I will be a voice to empower Mongolian girls through soft and leadership skills
through different kind of means social media, training, and mentorship programs.
• I will initiate and establish young researchers club who are eager to study more in this
research field.
• I will continue my research paper with future doctorate degree program to deepen my
research paper.
• Our research team will address our formulated solution to the policy makers through
multilateral influential campaign.


ADB. 2018. Working paper series No. 14. Translating Women’s Voices into Action in Mongolia:
Addressing Gender-Based Violence through Investments in Infrastructure. Ulaanbaatar.
Bradley, O. 2017. Education in Mongolia. The Blog. The Borden Project, October
GOM & NCGE. 2019. Mongolia Gender Situational Analysis: Advances, Challenges and Lessons

Learnt Since 2005. Retrieved from http://www.gender.gov.mn/uploads/books/attach/cover-

ADB, Mongolia: Country Gender Assessment. 2005, Retrieved from
IRIM, Gender Overview – Mongolia: A Desk Study. 2014. Retrieved from

Gender- percent20Overview-Mongolia- percent202014-EN.pdf

UNGEI, Why are Boys Under-Performing in Education?, 2013, Retrieved from
NSO. 2018. Labour Force Survey, Quarter IV of 2018. Ulaanbaatar.
NSO. 2019. Human Development 2018. Ulaanbaatar
EAP gender. 2018. How to Address Constraints Underlying Gender Disparities in Mongolia’s Labor
Market A Policy Note from the East Asia and Pacific Umbrella Facility for Gender Equality

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