The Women's Empowerment Summit will bring together 300 survivors of domestic and gender-based violence from rural communities and herdswomen in the Khovd Province of Mongolia. This will build on an economic empowerment project which will be implemented by Associated Country Women of the World’s local partner Sain Tus Development Bridge NGO, which will run from May 2022. The Summit will take place 11-13 August 2023.
Domestic violence is currently being reported as affecting a minimum of 50% of rural women in Mongolia, so strengthening the independence and empowerment of Indigenous and rural women in this region is critical. The initial project will give participants agricultural and life skills to establish financial independence from their husbands and traditional family structures and secure their status in their own communities.
The Economic Empowerment Summit will strengthen the initial work done, providing training in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Safeguarding, Rabies Community Safety, Citizenship, Human Rights and Advocacy, and Digital Entrepreneurship.
We will collect disaggregated, anonymised data on climate change impact, as well as the living conditions of, and challenges faced by, rural women in Khovd Province; this will strengthen Associated Country Women of the World’s ability to facilitate the women’s participation in United Nations processes such as the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development and CEDAW.
The Summit provides opportunities for participants from 16 ethnic groups, from 16 ‘sums’ (local communities), to come together, share their local and traditional knowledge, and establish the basis for future collective action.
The Summit is being jointly funded by ACWW and UNESCO under the 2022-2023 UNESCO Participation Programme. We are grateful to UNESCO, as well as the UK National Commission for UNESCO and Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO for their support of the grant.
The Participation Programme functions as a vital complement to UNESCO’s regular activities by analysing, evaluating and facilitating the implementation of national, sub-regional, inter-regional and regional projects submitted by Member States and NGOs directly related to the activities of the Organization.
Furthermore, it serves as a means employed by UNESCO to strengthen the partnership between the Organization and its Member States as well as between the Organization and Non-Governmental Organizations in official partnership with UNESCO. Thus the Participation Programme enhances the inclusive and generous spirit of UNESCO’s noble mission.
The Sain Tus Development Bridge NGO (formally, The Sain Tus Centre) was founded in 2005 with the mission to provide women in Khovd Province with information, capacity building and mobilization, increasing the participation of women in the development of country, supporting initiatives of self-development, and contributing to the protection of human rights. Development projects undertaken by Sain Tus Development Bridge NGO have focused on women and girls’ rights, health education and women’s economic empowerment and income generation. The organisation is led by Founder and Director, Tugrug Uugan-Erdene who has over 20 years of experience implementing projects working with indigenous women and communities across the western region of Mongolia. In 2020 Uugan-Erdene was selected to participate in the Indigenous Fellowship Programme with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Section) in Geneva, Switzerland.
Associated Country Women of the World has had a long collaborative relationship with Sain Tus Development Bridge NGO and since 2014 has funded three women’s economic empowerment projects, with a fourth funded in April 2022.
In 2014 Associated Country Women of the World funded a greenhouse development project with a grant of £2,990 which supported two local cooperatives to purchase greenhouses, tools and other necessary materials with the aim of increasing the variety of vegetables produced as well as improving market competitiveness and business skills. The project achieved its goals of advancing business skills and capacity, improving diet and health awareness, and increasing income by 25%.
In 2017 Associated Country Women of the World funded the first of a two-part project, “Women’s Economic Empowerment” with a grant of £2,760. The goal of the project was to improve the income of 40 low-income and female headed households through the process of capacity building workshops, health education and the provision of equipment and materials for income-generation activities. The beneficiaries of the project underwent capacity building trainings including; financial literacy and accounting for individuals, organizational structure training for small businesses and women’s groups, and fund management training for small businesses and women’s groups. This project was expanded in 2019, with a further grant of £4,171 distributed for “Women’s Economic Empowerment 2”. In the second stage of the project, follow up training was held for the participants. Increased profits were recorded by the small businesses which were then reinvested to increase the capacity of the businesses.
In April 2022, a new project funded by Associated Country Women of the World will be implemented by Sain Tus Development Bridge NGO with a grant of £5,236. This project “Economic Empowerment of Survivors of Domestic Violence” will provide 100 women survivors of domestic violence with basic legal counseling, intermediary services and awareness raising. This is in order to decrease levels of domestic violence within local communities and improve income for the 100 participants through vegetable farming in Jargalant sum, Khovd Province, Mongolia. The project aims to provide an independent source of income for 100 women and enable financial independence from husbands. It will also establish cooperative business and support networks between project participants.
We are grateful to the Domestic Abuse Co-ordination Unit of Police Scotland who have contributed to the delivery of the Women's Empowerment Summit with expertise on tackling Domestic Violence.
According to the Mongolia government, 85% of women in Mongolia suffer Domestic Violence at some point in their adult life. All participants of the Summit are survivors of Domestic Violence, and this is a crucial aspect of local government policy focus.
The presentation from Police Scotland explores the reality of policing Domestic Violence in the context of a diverse, geographically dispersed region with a large rural population.
The video from Police Scotland can be seen below.
We are grateful to the UK National Commission for UNESCO for their support of the Summit, and ACWW's application for funding through the UNESCO Participation Programme. Secretary-General James Ömer Bridge appeared at the opening ceremony of the Summit via video, and this is one element of continued cooperation between ACWW and the UK National Commission.
Before the opening of the Summit, local cultural practitioners illustrated Mongolia's rich and powerful history of music, art, clothing, and performance
World President Magdie de Kock welcomes participants to the Women's Empowerment Summit
James Bridge, Secretary-General of the UK National Commission for UNESCO welcomes participants to the Women's Empowerment Summit
ACWW Project Grants Officer Jenny Sellers and Advocacy Director Nick Newland conclude the Opening Ceremony
Police Scotland's Domestic Violence Coordination Unit explore their approach to tackling Domestic Violence in Scotland.
ACWW Project Grants Officer Jenny Sellers and Advocacy Director Nick Newland close the Women's Empowerment Summit
Rabies Leaflet - Mongolian (pdf)Download
Rabies Powerpoint - Mongolian (pptx)Download
Rabies Notes (docx)Download
Safeguarding presentation_Final (pptx)Download
Safeguarding Notes (docx)Download
Empowerment Summit Handbook (Mongolian) (pdf)Download
Domestic Violence Poster 1 (jpg)Download
Domestic Violence Poster 2 (jpg)Download
Domestic Violence Poster 3 (jpg)Download
Domestic Violence Poster 4 (jpg)Download
Domestic Violence Poster 5 (jpg)Download
Domestic Violence Poster 6 (jpg)Download