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The Asia Foundation’s Project Conclusion Paves the Way for Gender Mainstreaming in Mongolia

Event: March 19, Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaatar, March 22, 2024 — In Mongolia, The Asia Foundation recently celebrated the culmination of its four-year Women’s Economic Empowerment Project funded by Global Affairs Canada. The closing ceremony brought together distinguished partners from civil society, government, private sector, embassies, international organizations, and academia to celebrate the project’s triumphs in advancing women’s leadership and economic empowerment since its inception. It underscored the enduring partnerships and forward-looking initiatives poised to sustain and build upon the project’s achievements, ensuring a lasting impact beyond its conclusion.

The project catalyzed a significant women’s economic empowerment movement spearheaded by 22 civil society organizations. It championed policy reforms to foster gender equality in the workforce and financial sector. By engaging over 4,500 current and aspiring women entrepreneurs through the Women’s Business Center, the project significantly enhanced the ecosystem to nurture a more inclusive and supportive landscape for women entrepreneurs and women-led civil society organizations.

Kiril Iordanov, head of cooperation of the Embassy of Canada to Mongolia, delivered opening remarks, noting, “Full and equal participation of women in the economy is not just the right thing to do; it is also good for the bottom line.  Because when women succeed, everyone succeeds.”

Tricia Turbold of The Asia Foundation extended gratitude to all partners, donors, and supporters who contributed to the success of the Women’s Economic Empowerment Project. “As we reflect on the project’s impact, which will be further detailed throughout today’s event by our partners and the external evaluation team, it’s clear that our collective efforts have made substantial strides. In particular, a significant focus of our project was to bolster the efforts of CSOs in Mongolia working to promote gender equality. Through our project, we have supported 20 CSOs, who have been pivotal in aiding women and girls in navigating the challenges posed by Covid-19, and it has also ensured the continuity of essential services provided by CSOs led by women from diverse backgrounds.”

A woman delivers remarks at a podium.

As the Women’s Economic Empowerment Project concludes, significant steps are being taken to ensure the continuity and expansion of its impact. Enkhbayar Tumur-Ulzii, secretary and chief of secretariat at the National Committee on Gender Equality of Mongolia, together with Munkhtuya Rentsenbat, chairwoman of the steering committee of the Mongolian Sustainable Finance Association, have formalized their commitment to advancing gender equality within Mongolia’s financial sector. They signed a Memorandum of Understanding that aims to foster a gender-sensitive financial sector and develop inclusive financial products and services, including feminized loans, further empowering women across Mongolia.

During the signing ceremony, Enkhbayar noted, “We are incredibly proud of the achievements of the Women’s Economic Empowerment Project and the impact it has had on policy, including the national cross-sectoral 10-year strategy to promote gender equality and the following policy on promoting Gender-sensitive workplace.” In closing, Munkhtuya remarked, “While the project may be concluding, our commitment to advancing gender equality remains unwavering. We are confident that our partners will continue to champion this cause and build on the foundation laid by this project.”

2 women sign MoU with two women standing behind them on respective sides.

From left to right: Ms. Munkhtuya Rentsenbat, Chairwoman of the Steering Committee of Mongolian Sustainable Finance Association, and Ms.Enkhbayar Tumur-Ulzii, Secretary and Chief of Secretariat, National Committee on Gender Equality of Mongolia, signs MoU

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives and expanding opportunities across Asia and the Pacific. Informed by 70 years of experience and deep local knowledge, our work is focused on governance, climate action, gender equality, education and leadership, inclusive growth, and international cooperation. We work in more than 20 countries through our 17 permanent country offices and programs across Asia and the Pacific, supported by a headquarters in San Francisco and an office in Washington, DC. Our funding comes from a diverse array of bilateral and multilateral development agencies, foundations, corporations, and individuals.

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