The Gender Equality Program is committed to ending gender-based discrimination in Mongolia. We believe this is one of the greatest threats to human dignity and freedom.
Mongolia’s National Center Against Violence estimates that one in three women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
We believe in the power of advocacy at both community and policy levels and ending violence is a core mission of Women for Change. In the six years we have been operating, Women for Change has drawn attention to the devastating impact of domestic violence and gender equality more broadly.
Behind Closed Doors
Behind Closed Doors began as an immersive art instillation that challenged participants to acknowledge the devastating impact of domestic violence and highlighted the need for a comprehensive legal framework to combat it. We worked with an amazing, creative, team to bring to life a portable instillation that showed participants a glimpse into the lived experience of domestic violence victims.
Our campaign received a tremendous response in Mongolia. From its beginning as an art instillation, Behind Closed Doors really developed into a social movement. over 700 people participated in the instillation itself, and we delivered 500 letters to parliament from members of the public calling for comprehensive laws on domestic violence. Behind Closed Doors was featured heavily on television, social media and even in parliament’s discussion on laws against domestic violence. The reaction video from our campaign has been viewed nearly 200,000 times on social media. You can watch the video, with English subtitles, here.
The Vagina Monologues
In addition to our marches, campaigns and workshops, we are perhaps best known for staging the iconic feminist play The Vagina Monologues. The play had never before been performed in Mongolia, and (you might not believe it!) but before this event many of our staff and members couldn’t even say the word ‘vagina’ without becoming embarrassed. Now these confident young women you see in the photo below are leading the charge for gender equality.
Over the three years that Women for Change staged the Vagina Monologues we were able to fund-raise US$20,000 which was donated to other local NGOs. Mongolia’s National Center Against Violence used this money to purchase much needed security equipment and transportation for shelter homes for victims of domestic violence. Further funding was also provided to the LGBT Centre of Mongolia and helped fund their projects supporting transgender people in Mongolia.
Sunday Meetings and the Everyday Sexism Project
In addition to our seasonal projects, each Sunday we open the doors at the Women for Change office and invite our members to attend workshops on a wide range of topics including gender and the media, human rights, body image, sexuality, education and much, much more.
In 2016 we dedicated 13 weeks to discussing the everyday sexism that women experience. Inspired by the British feminist author Laura Bates, we launched the seminar series, ’13 Challenges of Women’. Members were invited to attend 13 workshops that explored the experience of everyday sexism in a Mongolian context.
We welcome guest speakers to these workshops– if you would like to contribute please don’t hesitate to contact us.