Mongolian Family Values
While Mongolia has increasingly adopted Western influences, the traditional family structure is still highly valued and holds a prominent position in the Mongolian culture. Both traditional and modern Mongolian families have some similar values and morals to one another, and these have been a part of daily life for many centuries.
Traditional Mongolian family values feature very clear-cut, different roles and rights for men and women. While these are rapidly changing, the original values are still evident on some levels.
Role of Men
In the traditional Mongolian family, the man is responsible for maintaining, providing for and protecting his family. At the same time, he is given all the decision-making power when it comes to his wife, family and other family members. He is also responsible for taking care of and paying for his children, including their education, until they are married.
In modern families, the family members consult elders about important decisions, but the father no longer has the final say in regard to his adult children’s lives.
Role of Women
Women have traditionally served in a subordinate position within Mongolian culture. Traditional Mongolian mothers usually stayed in the home to take care of the home, the children, and the rest of the family. However, the role that women play within society is ever expanding. According to the 2014 United Nations Development Programmer’s Human Development Report, Mongolia received a gender equality ranking similar to the developed countries, the role of women is vastly altering. Due to the many opportunities, women are seeking careers rather than the traditional child-rearing role. However, there does seem to be a limit to what women can currently do, according to Fair Observer. There are fewer females than males in higher paying, higher power positions, like CEO roles, but this is quickly changing.
Mongolian mother legislation is “Constitution of Mongolia (1992)”. Gender equality is fundamentally provided by this legislation. Article 16 of the Constitution states that “Women and men have equal rights in the social, political, cultural, economic life and family relations”. Also in the Article 14, it is stipulated that “Everyone should be free from any types of discrimination based on her or his social status, race, ethnicity, sex, language, age, religious belief, viewpoints, employment, education level and wealth”.
Importance of Family
That statement ‘family is life’ holds true in Mongolian culture. Family is very important. So important, in fact, that the family is the base of Mongolian culture. Several Confucian thoughts are based around family. For example, three of the five important relationships are husband and wife, elder and younger siblings and brothers. To really understand the importance of family you need to examine the different relationships. There are also specific responsibilities and duties delineated to parents and children in Mongolia’s 1999 marriage law, which is currently in effect. However, it should be noted that the role that family is playing is an evolving one, with some young adults breaking off from their culture and starting their own traditions.