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Engendering pensions: Gender assessment of pension system reforms in Mongolia

Gender equality is a key issue in the design of pension systems given the distinctive life courses of women, the unequal distribution of unpaid work responsibilities in the family that influence access to participation in gendered labour markets, the greater likelihood of broken work practices, part-time work, and lower rates of pay. When pension systems are based on contributions over time, women are more likely to be disadvantaged. Without specific attention to these dynamics, pension system design can be expected to systematically favour men over women. This research examines these dynamics through an analysis of the redesign of the Mongolian pension system as it transitioned from a socialist to a market system from 1990 onwards, focusing on the implications for women. The aim is to raise critical awareness of the issues of gender in Mongolia in relation to these pension reforms, grounded in a critical feminist policy theoretical perspective. The study reveals that the process and outcomes of the reform have been powerfully influenced by international organisations which have not appreciated the distinctive history, culture, demographic and economic profile of Mongolia. The reforms have prioritised the efficiency of the system at the expense of equality of coverage and the adequacy. Pension reform implementation has been hampered by limited governmental capacity, a lack of continuity in government and a tendency towards populist politics. There was no formal inclusion of women in the design process, and the design has failed to recognise the particular work practices and needs of women. Women have been affected most by new forms of vulnerability linked with the new economy and the emergence of a substantial informal sector. The pension system reforms have not contributed towards reducing that vulnerability.
Type of thesis
Avirmed, N. (2019). Engendering pensions: Gender assessment of pension system reforms in Mongolia (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13675
The University of Waikato
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