The new ruling party, the Mongolian People’s Party (MPP), has set a quota to keep women’s inclusion in the cabinet at no less than 25 percent to promote women’s representation at decision-making level.
The highest number of women of all time was elected as members of Parliament at the latest parliamentary election, held in late June 2016. In total, 13 women were elected into Parliament, of which, 12 belonged to the Mongolian People’s Party and one to the Democratic Party.
MP Ts.Tsogzolmaa was interviewed about the action plan of female parliamentarians and their inclusion in the government’s activities.
Former female MPs used to work together under an unofficial parliamentary group. How will new female MPs work this time?
The 2016 parliamentary election ended with favorable results for female MPs compared to previous elections. This time, 13 female candidates were elected. During the election, one political party gained an overwhelming support from the public. In particular, the Mongolian People’s Party won 65 seats. Forming such a large group is not good from an ethical perspective.
Newly elected female members agreed to unofficially work as a team on social security issues related to children, women and families. Parliament will soon discuss the MPP’s Action Plan and the majority – 60 percent – of the topics included in the government action plan is expected to focus on social security and social welfare policies.
Wages are decreasing and unemployment is increasing at the moment due to economic difficulties in Mongolia. We’re facing many challenges because of this. Substantial and accurate measures need to be taken to address them. Above all, the actual situation is the most important thing. It’s crucial to determine the current state of economic issues. Female MPs voiced themselves on this matter to newly appointed ministers. Specifically, new statistical data is required for each sector.
We also need to determine the credibility of measuring the current unemployment rate based solely on the number of people registered at the Mongolian Labor Exchange. I mean that people with a certain range of knowledge and financial capability for bus fares would travel to the Mongolian Labor Exchange and register. There are thousands of unemployed people without access to relevant information and those who can’t afford the bus fare.
What other challenges are there?
We need to analyze Mongolia’s state budget and figure out if it’s possible to hand out wages to government officials and civil servants. Every kindergarten and school across the country will get back to work in a month. The MPP promised to provide education to every child, so it’s essential to give an update on the progress of this project to the public.
Basically, the state budget deficit has reached one to two trillion MNT. We need to find other sources to finance this project without drawing money from the state budget. After we solve this matter, we must notify the public.
…new sources for funds can be found by making changes to the legal environment. We need to concentrate on finding opportunities to attract foreign investment and expand other financial sources for the state budget and tax base…
The Election Law specifies that 20 percent of government seats must be given to women. Has the ruling party, the MPP, complied with this requirement?
Twenty-five percent of the cabinet is now women, meaning that three women were elected. Unfortunately, two of the female candidates were dismissed due to some reasons. However, I believe that the quota for women’s representation in the government and Parliament will be complied with for pending appointment of ministers [Four ministers (three male and one female) have been appointed on July 29].
Female MPs met with the Speaker of Parliament and Prime Minister on July 26. What kinds of issues did you cover?
Besides my membership in the MPP, I’m also the president of the MPP’s Social Democracy-Mongolian Women’s Association (SDMWA). Therefore, I requested to have the gender quota strictly complied with for the appointment of the remaining four ministers. Moreover, we presented a formal plea, requesting the Speaker of Parliament and Prime Minister ensure that 25 percent of administrative bodies, including deputy ministers, agency heads and city authorities, are represented by women.
You just said that you requested strict compliance with the gender quota for decision-making and executive positions. Are there enough female personnel for these positions?
Our party has sufficient personnel. The 12 members elected as MPs from the MPP are all highly experienced people who have been working in government administration for many years. We also have representatives of wealth creators who greatly contributed in the sustainable development of the society.
Furthermore, there are female members elected to become the voice of educational institutes, the media, and local residents to the protection of their rights and interests. I’m sure that this matter will be resolved according to political party regulations and rules.
…We received a bankrupt government – one that hasn’t got adequate funds. In this sense, we need people with a wide range of skills, including flexibility and negotiability in decision-making…
The MPP promised to establish a professional government and help the nation overcome economic difficulties. In your opinion, has a government of professionals been formed?
I personally consider that a professional government has been established. Appointing a professor as the Minister of Education and Science and a doctor as the Minister of Health is consistent to professional requirements. However, there are many more requirements for a person who leads a particular sector, including requirements concerning their management skills, ability to make right decisions for difficult issues, and their preparedness for political position.
We received a bankrupt government – one that hasn’t got adequate funds. In this sense, we need people with a wide range of skills, including flexibility and negotiability in decision-making, as well as the ability to see potential threats and risks in advance and take precautionary measures.
What do you expect from the new government?
Of course, major issues cannot be resolved immediately or in the blink of an eye. The most important thing is to rank problems by how urgent and dire they are, and then discuss them based on concrete information and estimations. This way, the public will be more accepting. MPs gave considerable advice and recommendations on this to the newly established cabinet.
It’s important to create realistic statistics, and research and report them to the public. Especially in the past two to three months, political parties spread exaggerated information that are far off from the actual reality to the public for political reasons. Determining whether the Mongolian state budget has money, if so how much is saved, and whether foreign investment is increasing has become a priority.
I believe that necessary changes to the legal environment will be discussed. This is because the state budget has been cut off. In this case, new sources for funds can be found by making changes to the legal environment. We need to concentrate on finding opportunities to attract foreign investment and expand other financial sources for the state budget and tax base.