Women in Asia continue to experience massive structural disadvantages, from early childhood education through their retirement from work – if they wanted and were allowed to work – and into their older age. It is mainly women who are exploited as cheap labour in Asia’s export industries and low-skill sectors, especially agriculture, textiles and the footwear and electronic industries. They are paid subsistence wages and experience increasing precariousness of their working as well as living conditions.
On the heels of all the economic progress now comes rapid technological transformation that is altering the present and future nature of work in ways that offer a multitude of opportunities but also add new levels of risks for social groups across the Global South.
In Mongolia, relatively strong regulatory frameworks to ensure gender equality are in place. But their implementation and enforcement remain weak. Additionally, a large share of women works in informal sectors or do unpaid family work. This is amplified by traditional norms and social expectations for men’s and women’s roles in society. Thus, gender remains an influential factor determining the employment situation and work conditions for women. Possible impacts of technological advancements on economic opportunities for men and women in Mongolia are largely unresearched by scholars and unconsidered by policy-makers. Nevertheless, the fundamental change the Fourth Industrial Revolution will bring to the working life already looms on the horizon of Mongolia’s eternally blue sky.
Ayush Ariunzaya and Myagmar Munkhmandakh share their analysis and discussion points on the future of work for women in Mongolia.
This paper is part of the regional project "Women and the future of work in Asia". With insights from distinguished researchers in nine Asian countries, FES and its partners aim to further promote gender equality in the world of work, with emphasis on enhancing women’s participation in public and political life and promoting decent work for all along with gender-just and human-centric economic models.
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