When women have access to the same rights and opportunities as men, they are more resilient to conflict and disaster and can lead reconstruction and renewal efforts in their societies, according to The State of World Population 2010, released on October 27 by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Mongolia. The ceremony was attended by, among others, S. Banzragch, Advisor to the Parliament Speaker, and Ms. Munkhtseren, Director of the Administrative Management Department, Ministry of Social Welfare and Labor.
“When women are
involved in the discussions and are present at the negotiation table, they can
be brokers for peace” said UNFPA’s Representative to Mongolia, Ms. Argentina
Matavel Piccin. “If we’re serious about preventing conflicts, recovering from
war and natural disaster and building lasting peace, we need to empower women,
as well as the young and the elderly, to become agents of positive change.”
Disasters in Mongolia are mostly related to climate change and nature. Under the leadership of NEMA and the United Nations, disaster management and preparedness plans are currently being developed, and there will be special attention to the protection and safety of women and girls.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) works hard to prevent natural disasters like forest fires and mitigate the impact of dzud. Ms. Delgermaa, senior officer of disaster management department of NEMA, explained how they try to involve women as much as possible: “We work together with herder groups to prevent natural disasters and most of them are women. Women and children are the most vulnerable groups in emergencies but especially women are very active in the prevention of natural disasters. Their efforts should be appreciated and strengthened.”
Ms. B. Dolgor, Deputy Chair of the National Committee on Gender Equality, called upon the Government to invest more in the social sector to prevent from disaster and to build women’s resilience. She also called on skills building of youth: “We need to focus more on life skills education and make sure youth know what to do in case of emergencies. And we need to focus especially on young women, who are prone to violence, and strengthen their capacities.”
In last year’s dzud, the Ministry of Social Welfare and UNFPA strengthened women’s resilience through psychosocial support and livelihood activities, to give them a chance to rebuild their lives and to empower them to contribute more to their communities.