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This is the historical era in search of the enlightenment

This is the historical era in search of the enlightenment

November 26, 1924 was the day that Mongolia declared itself as an independent country with the adoption of its first constitution. The Bogd Khan’s governance was transferred into new political structure of the Mongolian People’s Republic. Following this historical process, the foundation of Mongolian Women’s Federation  has been established and the organization was led by the best intellectuals of Mongolia, such as D.Pagmadulam, spouse of Great Writer Natsagdorj D., Yanjmaa N., spouse of the Great General Sukhbaatar D., Udval S., political and social meritorious person and great writer, and Munkhhuu D., Head of the “Gal Golomt” Movement. Now the 9th President has been elected. We had an interview with a new President of MWF.

- Several months passed since you became a President of MWF. This is a short period but what works have you done and arranged so far?

- I have been elected as the 9th President of MWF during the 12th congress of the MWF. There has been a lot of works that has been done in the past years during its history of 94 years. We need to continue those works and initiate new works. First, we are working to develop a strategic document to plan our objectives and goals of nearing future. With this large policy document, the Mongolian Women’s Federation will determine where to go and what to achieve. We will also expand foreign relations, strengthen domestic branch councils, develop documents, and works in law projects.

-You started the movement to combat against the violence. It seems that many people consider that MWF is a voice of girls and women rights.

-Everyone will agree that it is time to fight against the violence, one of the most difficult issues today. Everyone’s participation is important here. Focusing on violence in this society is more than just women and children’s issues. The primary responsibility of us, the mothers and women, is to focus on violence occurred in our society. Based on this, we started this movement. We raised the issue of 13-year old girl, who had been died in the result of violence, and organized online demonstration to request the fair resolution of this case. Many mothers joined us for the children and women rights. Further, we think to participate in works to bring the light in the minds of the black mass in Mongolia, to clear the society from the violence, to create polite and humane citizens. Our people are educated. They know foreign languages and foreign cultures. However, this is the historical era for our generation to enlighten the moral lapse, character decay. If we will not do the enlightenment works now, probably Mongolia would be written in the history as a nation with violence. Our organization is just in front of this historical duty. We plan to implement systematic measures to develop the children right from early childhood. All branch councils of Mongolian Women’s Federation are to establish teenage clubs in secondary schools. We have ensured the preparation works of the enlightenment through these clubs. International practice shows that teenage oriented enlightenment works give well results. 

-Administrations of this organizations played historical roles. You said this organization will reach all Mongolian women.

-Contributions and values of the Mongolian best intellectuals such as Pagmadulam D., spouse of Great Writer Natsagdorj, D. Yanjmaa N. spouse of Great General Sukhbaatar D., Great writer and meritorious person Udval S., Head of Gal Golomt Movement Munkhuu  D. are much. Yes, I said that women’s organization shall be open for all Mongolian women. I will keep my words. To be open means that we will show through our works and activities. It does not mean that we will visit all households and bring all women here. Mongolian Women’s Federation  is the first organization representing the rights of 1 million 615 thousand women of Mongolia since the revolution.  

-In the past, you have worked in the executive administration of several public organizations. Not everyone will compete for the position of President of this organization with over 90-years history. Were you afraid?

-Fur sure, managing such a big organization and being the voice of thousands of women was difficult but I didn’t want to be far because of the fear. I have worked as a CEO of Mongolian News Federation for four years, and as a Chairwomen of Online News Federation for six years.  I have an experience. However, there is a huge difference between NGO representing one sector and NGO representing all women. I have potentiality to develop the management and policy of this organization. I competed for this position as considering it as my value.

-You made a honor to previous administration, participated together in international session. You started working by respecting their works done. It seems that such attitude is important nowadays.

-It is popular to dismiss people by having new policies and reforms. I personally think why the person shall be dismissed if he / she can do the work well. In addition, denying the previous history is the beginning of denying ourselves in the future. I am working hard with my team to create the historical continuation of this historical organization. I’m really glad to continue publishing 93-year-old magazine after 20 years. In the future, we will deliver the voices of Mongolian women from each sectors through the Mongolian women’s magazine, to publish about ordinary workers, ordinary herders, ordinary miners and doctors, the people who participate in social life. The purpose and activities of the organization should also be transparent and open to the public. This 94-year-old organization will work with international organizations. Furthermore, we will have a website. We must respect the past, especially the people played the historical roles on prosperity of Mongolia. We shall invite the previous administrations to learn their knowledge and skills. When I became the President of the Mongolian Women Federation, I have issued an order to award the previous administration with “Honorary President”. The decision was made to confirm their contribution for Mongolian women and these people have already done the works, honors, and heritages.

-Mongolians value this character as respecting the elders and etiquettes. What about your parents and discipline of your family?

-My parents have eight children. They grew us up by teaching us to respect the elders, to share what we have, to help each other. Every day we received guests. At least 2 or 3, and in maximum 20-30 people came to us. We emphasize the unite on basis of strategic document of the Federation. Perhaps some people think that everyone is talking about the unity. The unity is important in each level of the current society. I am open to any cooperation with qualified people.

-Mongolian Women’s Federation has started to encourage all top women from sectors by “Alungoo” cup. Did you initiate such an award named after the Alungoo Queen?

- This 94-year-old organization is a nationwide public organization which is a voice to protect the rights of all Mongolian women, and does not represent the right of a single company or individual. Therefore, we decided that it would be right to organize a larger celebration of the New Year. Since last year the Federation of Mongolian Women has started encourage the winners of the “Alungoo” Cup. We are few, so we decided that we need unity, and decided to name this cup in honor of Alungoo Khatun. Alungoo Khatun is considered the ancestor of the Mongols, a symbol of unity. Since our organization is a women’s organization, we initiated this event and called the cup in honor of Alungoo Khatun. We believe that Queen Alungoo’s unity teaching will bring us blessings. Surely the question arises: who will be the winner of this cup. We will choose hardworking women leading in their sectors. Lst year 13 women won the “Alungoo” Cup. We chose the winner through industry councils in 21 provinces and the offices of governors of some provinces.

The winners of all 13 nominations of this year will be glorified in our issues of the magazine. Every 3-5 years we will organize new events. We plan to make this cup, this award so honorable as an Oscar, so that the winners and their children are proud. The value of women’s labor in Mongolia is different from other countries. Because in Mongolia there are 133 thousand women - herders. Who will encourage their work? Who cares about their health issue?

-In one your interviews you said that protecting the rights of Mongolian women shall not be politicizing. You said that you will not agree with actions to earn profits or to use for political purposes. Maybe there are people that think Oyungerel B. will join the politics through this organization. What do you think?

-The women organization shall not be a political organization. This is one issue. It shall not be politicized. This is the second issue. Regarding my position to join the politics is another issue. Here, I confirm responsibly that Mongolian Women’s Federation will never be the political organization. Today there are many women organizations working with political parties. They work separately. Regarding our organization, we protect the rights of all Mongolian women, and this is no matter what political party they belong. Therefore, this organization cannot be the political organization. This position will never be changed. Second, the Mongolian Women’s Federation  shall not be politicized. My plan of the nearing years is to work hard for the organization. This organization was the largest organization for the women. I will spend all my time, knowledge and skills to continue this tradition.

-How do you see the foreign relation tradition, modern cooperation and relation of this roganization?

- I do not want to talk separately about external and internal relations. At all levels we will improve relationships. At the end of last year I participated as a guest of honor at the International Forum for Businesswomen, held in Guangzhou, China. During this time, I had the opportunity to meet with the leaders of the Federation of Women of Inner Mongolia to discuss issues of cooperation. In addition, I organized a meeting with students studying in Beijing and Guangzhou, China.

We also met with representatives of foreign embassies in Mongolia. We exchanged information and discussed issues of cooperation. I will participate in the 63rd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, which will be held in March. On the one hand, our foreign policy is such that we consider it most important to discuss how we can cooperate with the women of other countries, how we will mutually support each other, regardless of nationality, language, tradition, religion or social status. And what can we do for global development. All of us women must unite with an idea, a world view and work to improve our planet.

-The amendments were done in the statute of Mongolian Women’s Federation in 2000. Since those amendments, many women joined voluntarily the Federation. Now what regulations apply for women to join the women organization?

-Until the 1990s, it was non-governmental organization to serve to the public through its branch councils in 21 provinces. Since 1990, it became the non-governmental organization serving to its members. So, serving members and serving the society is two different statuses. Serving society means serving all women. Serving members means serving the involved members. May women ask my what do to in order to have membership of Mongolian Women’s Federation . Membership does not require our registration. Women, who can join us, can involve the activities through branch councils of the Federation, express their burning issues. The right to participate in activities of Mongolian Women’s Federation is open to everyone. Further, we will organize works to make skilled branch councils, to have offices and personnel. We would like to express our gratitude to heads of branch councils, who have worked voluntarily without any income since the 1990s. Thanks to these people, Mongolian Women’s Federation is going to celebrate 94th Anniversary. Further we need hiring them as full-time officials. Only then we can discuss about policy implementation, responsibility and public interests. Local branch councils shall be the major bridge between individuals, women organization and the government. It shall transfer the voices of local herdsmen to us, reflect the issues in governmental decisions, and to inform back. In addition, there are many issues regarding the pension, allowances, children’s language and election rights of women living and studying abroad. Therefore, we will set up our branch councils in areas, where Mongolians reside. In general, we are talking about women’s issues, but this is not a woman’s issue, it’s a matter of society and humanity. It involves all sectors, where women are. The gender issue is not about the career. This is a matter of gender equality. There are a lot issues in the family and health areas. We will make changes through our women. Today’s average life expectancy of men is lower than women. In recent years, divorce in Mongolia has increased fourfold. The women participation is high to diagnose the major reason. Our country started talking and working for the women issue over 95 years ago. Therefore, we need to prepare well for the 100th anniversary of our organization. We are working to set up “Production, service, training, research and innovation center” in framework of 100th anniversary of Mongolian Women’s Federation. In addition, there is the historical era for us to be in search of the enlightenment.

- You said that before the New year you went to foreign countries by official purpose. And after the new year you visited the Republic of Korea. Probably, you got acquainted with the historical development of the women’s organization of this country?

- From February 12 to 17 I traveled to the Republic of Korea on a business trip. Today 46,000 citizens of Mongolia live, work and study in South Korea. 53% of them are women. 2300 women and 150 men started a family with Koreans. As well as 15,000 citizens live in this country illegally. In cases of intentional and unintentional participation in crimes, due to unknowledge of the Korean language some citizens often cannot receive legal assistance. For example, in the Republic of Korea every year 1,600 citizens of Mongolia are accused in a crime. There are statistics that half of them are accused in violating the rules of the road, fighting and rape. Therefore, regardless of whether they live lawfully or illegally, it is necessary to provide them legal assistance. The Mongolian Women’s Federation began a collaboration with a Korean law firm. An agreement on cooperation will be concluded soon, and we will inform about.

Also during a business trip in the Republic of Korea, I met and exchanged views with representatives of 30 organizations, with more than 300 people. I also held talks on cooperation with the Korean National Council of Women, the Korean Women’s Development Institute, the administration of the city of Seoul, the Association of Business Women. The Korean National Council of Women unites 5 million women and is a huge organization uniting representatives from all sectors. And also is funded from the state budget. This council has a research center that studies all issues related to women. Statistics from this research center are submitted to Ministry of Gender Equality and Family. Thus, the methodology for solving the problems of Korean women is reflected in state policy. And also in this country there is a tradition that Presidential candidates in advance submit their election promises to the country’s women’s organization, that is, make promises to all women of the country. The Korean Women’s Development Institute was first established under the President of the Republic of Korea, and now has the status of an independent organization. The activities of this organization have expanded and now it operates at the ministry level. Also this organization has begun to conduct research on women, their level of development, family issues at the international level, including in the Asia-Pacific region.

- At the end of the interview, please tell us how the Mongolian Women’s Federation is planning to celebrate the International Women’s Day? Although we know that this is the day of protecting the rights of women, but it is noticed that everywhere the issue of responsibility is forgotten?

- On the 8th of March Mongolian Women’s Federation used to hold an event to award “Honorary Mothers”. This year we have planned some other events. Under the auspices of the Prime Minister of Mongolia Khurelsukh Ukhnaa on March 7, 2019, the Conference “WOMEN’S RIGHTS” will take place in the State Palace. This conference is organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. Representatives of women from all over the country will take part in this conference and will share views on how we women can contribute to reducing the crime of violence. At the end of the session, 5 invitations and 9 proposals will be submitted to the State Levels. We initiated this event to ensure that moms and mothers of Mongolia could convey their views and initiatives to the state on how to ensure social equality, justice, provide women opportunity to work and create a society without violence. Also the Mongolian Women’s Federation is planning to start the movement “Saussurea”. We decided to start this movement after receiving the permission of a thousand mothers. Thus. this year celebration of International Women’s Day will have some features. Women organizations and women will look back on our RESPONSIBILITIES, more than just talking. I urge all readers to strive for a better future for Mongolian mothers and for all Mongolian women to work together to cultivate enlightenment and Mongolian immunity.

Thank you very much.


Journalist Shurentsetseg .Yu

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