How does women's economic situation relate to intimate partner violence? A Mongolian case study

Author: Enkhmaa Tsedevsuren

Tsedevsuren, Enkhmaa, 2020 How does women's economic situation relate to intimate partner violence? A Mongolian case study, Flinders University, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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This thesis provides a feminist analysis of the relationship between women’s economic situation and intimate partner violence (IPV) in Mongolia in the period since the country transitioned from socialism to a market economy and neoliberal style of government in the early 1990s. Starting from a literature review focusing on this relationship, it is evident that this topic has been extensively discussed in different contexts around the world. Mongolia, however, seems to be an exception despite the fact that these two aspects have been studied separately.

Women’s economic situation in Mongolia has significantly worsened since the transition from socialism, and IPV has increased during this time. A strong tradition of women’s strength and more recent gender equality remain but many of the social and economic gains for women achieved during the socialist period have been dismantled and traditional patriarchal gender norms have been revived. To elaborate the relationship between these parts of women’s lives, the following two factors have been taken into consideration. On the one hand, Mongolian women’s economic position has been extensively researched by means of women’s bargaining power in their households, employment opportunities for women, workplace based discrimination, discrimination that businesswomen face, wage gaps, and property ownership. The thesis demonstrates how Mongolian women have been marginalized from owning property or land exclusively in their names and why it has been the case. Such historical features are taken into account to illustrate how women’s roles have been perceived and what changes have taken place in this regard since the 1990s. The thesis also looks at the roles that respective policies have played in the formation of the current women’s economic situation in Mongolia in the light of the dramatic changes undertaken in different periods of its history. On the other side of the spectrum, IPV in Mongolia has not yet been studied in detail. The nature of IPV in Mongolia has been elaborated as part of this thesis. Possible reasons for why women in Mongolia are facing IPV these days include the reenergising of persistent patriarchal gender norms and other socio-economic factors. The thesis then investigates how these two notions, women’s economic situation and IPV, could be related as far as Mongolia is concerned.

The thesis concludes with a question. It asks whether historical conditions of Mongolian gender relations (nomadism, a democracy of the steppes, socialism and women’s high educational levels) reduce the impact of declining women’s economic position and whether it means that IPV is less prevalent in Mongolia or have the historical benefits for Mongolian women now been wiped out by neo-liberalism. For the sake of more complete understanding of the nature of the relationship between women’s economic situation and IPV, these two must be contextualised within historical, cultural frameworks along with socio-economic factors. The findings of this thesis, therefore, call for future studies, both qualitative and quantitative, to focus on the context of Mongolia for the advancement of gender equality.

Keywords: domestic violence, intimate partner violence, Mongolia, women's economic situation

Subject: Women's Studies thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2020
School: College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
Supervisor: Barbara Baird