For International Women’s Day today, I thought I would dig through some of the World Bank Group’s databases for some factual perspective on the institutional environment for women in Mongolia. Two great cross-national sources are the Women, Business and the Law database, providing factual information on how a country’s laws support, protect, or hinder gender equality, and the Enterprise Surveys database, providing the perspective of firms on the business environment. I also drew on a study, supported by IFC and Canada, on SMEs and Women-Owned SMEs and the constraints they face.
For ease of access later, here are the tweets and the links. Overall, Mongolia’s legal framework shows equal rights and protections, but is less strong on the supporting environment, particularly with regard to employment. Women and men both face challenges in operating SMEs, mostly is similar measure, but women face challenges with financing, despite strong repayment records. Financial literacy for women, and a better understanding by banks, would help.
2/ In the Women, Business and the Law database, Mongolia comes across well in “access to institutions”. (There are dozens of questions; here is a sample.)
3/ Mongolia provides equal protection under the law.
4/ Mongolia prohibits discrimination, but also has many restrictions on employment that put women at a disadvantage. Often these restrictions are aimed at protecting women, but they also limit employment prospects, often for relatively well paying jobs.
5/ Mongolia also has differences in benefits for men and women. Different retirement ages reduce incentives to provide training for women.
6/ Overall, Mongolia has a relatively small number of legal differences for women and men.
7/ In Mongolia, the percent of firms with women in top managerial positions is 23%. In East Asia and the Pacific this number is 27%, and for the world it is 13%.
8/ In a study of SMEs in Mongolia, most constraints were seen similarly for men and women…
9/ Despite the fact that women have better repayment records, they often face difficulties getting bank loans.
10/ Strengthening financial literacy (aka capability) would help women with confidence to approach Banks.
11/ To sum up, Mongolia has made much progress on institutions of gender equality, and women are making inroads in business.
Happy International Women’s Day !