Gender and Land Rights Database


Customary norms, religious beliefs and social practices that influence gender-differentiated land rights

Before 1921, Mongolia was a feudal society where women had limited rights, especially during the Manchu period. The position of women radically changed with the 1921 revolution and the establishment of a socialist society from 1924 onwards. Women then benefitted from increased access to education and health care. Legal reforms also granted them equal rights with men (10).

The traditional gender roles in family and work are shifting. Before the transition, the state supported women in child-bearing and child-care through generous benefits and day-care services. This contributed to shaping male and female roles and perceptions of one another. The withdrawal of state support in the early nineties and the subsequent changes in family earning patterns have destabilised the traditional male and female roles in this respect. For women, their role as care givers expanded while the pressure to earn wages for the household economy increased. This double burden translated into lower career mobility. Rebalancing Gender roles are currently being given closer consideration but while the law is largely gender-neutral, barriers to change are persist in families and organisations (10). Strong stereotypical attitudes about the roles and responsibilities of women and men in family and society persist in Mongolia. The CEDAW Committee recommended that awareness-raising measures be strengthened to promote and implement the equal sharing of domestic and family responsibilities (7).

Traditional authorities and customary institutions


Inheritance/succession de facto practices

Mongolia does not have plural legal systems and inheritance practices follow the civil code. But there is little available information on de facto inheritance practices (11). 

Discrepancies/gaps between statutory and customary laws

While the legal framework for land tenure in Mongolia is largely gender-neutral, implementation has often benefitted more to men than to women. In recent years, a number of programmes and statutes have been developed in an effort to address the high incidence of poverty among women. 

Sources: numbers in brackets (*) refer to sources displayed in the Bibliography