Outrage Over PM’s Suggestion to Draft Young Women into Military

By Marissa J. Smith

The #огцор hashtag is back (#cancelPM #огцор9 #ОгцорEC) after PM Oyun-Erdene made comments about drafting young women, who were characterized as getting married and having children at a young age rather than working, as he chaired the National Committee on Gender meeting on Friday, March 5.

Despite much fanfare around Oyun-Erdene’s youth, to this analyst these comments harken back to the 1980s, when countries throughout the Eastern Bloc sought to power through economic stagnation by severely disciplining youth.

Mongolian women have much higher graduation rates than do men, yet have lower rates of formal employment, earn less, and hold many fewer higher level positions. More often working in the informal sector, as detailed in a December 2020 ADB report women have in some ways been even more impacted than men by COVID19-related hits to the Mongolian and global economies.

The following clip began circulating on twitter on Friday:

Former multiple-term-MP and potential presidential candidate Ts. Oyungerel responded to the comments on twitter, arguing that young women work very hard raising young children, and that a draft might “send the wrong message,” as if Mongolia were “preparing for war”:

As Bulgan brought to my attention, on Friday PM Oyun-Erdene apologized for “upsetting people before the holiday,” but said that the “content” of his comments rather than their “form” should be paid attention to, by the public and by news media.

One twitter user responded “Resign, in content and in form!”

Monday, March 8, will be Women’s Day, a major public holiday in Mongolia. Some on twitter are calling for a demonstration on the square (#БиОчно), where there is already an exhibition set up on the issue of rampant domestic violence happening “behind closed doors” (see hashtag #Хаалга).

UPDATE:

@hariad_uyanga adds:

(CEDAW is the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women)

The response on Twitter has been swift and markedly sophisticated in the use of hashtags and graphics. The 8>9 motto is a poignant example of that response:

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