Women’s right to property in Mongolia is a crucial part of growing an economy and a country. In Mongolia women now hold approximately 40 percent of land titles, an increase of 5 per cent since 2011.
Baigalmaa Enebish of Erdenet, Mongolia is a single mother, and recently lived in a rented room in someone else’s home. She had no stable income and few employment opportunities.
Baigalmaa noticed that there were many women around her who were in the same situation, and invited them to join a group she formed called the Neighbors’ Friendship Cooperative to help solve its members’ housing problem.
“My desire to improve the living conditions of those who are in a similar condition as me motivated me to organize this cooperative,” said Baigalmaa, who has been the cooperative head since 2008.
With Baigalmaa’s help, the cooperative received several grants from international donors to build a fence, extend the electricity grid and dig wells. They wanted to apply for a loan from the Asian Coalition for Housing Project, but a lack of collateral prevented them from doing so. However a Property Rights Project contractor from MCA-Mongolia Rights informed them that they could own land via the MCA Mongolia Property Rights Project.
The project works to increase women’s awareness of the importance and benefits of owning land. TheMillennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) invested $15.7 million to improve the efficiency, accuracy and accessibility of the land privatization and property registration process to make it easier, faster and more cost-effective for Mongolian citizens to register and transfer land.
Through coordinated public outreach, project contractors, educate women on the value of land and how to use it as a valuable asset, including as collateral for bank loans.
In less than one month Baigalmaa acquired land.
“Previously, privatizing land seemed like a difficult goal to achieve, since we heard it’s a long and tedious process with heavy bureaucracy,” said Baigalmaa.
Normally the process would take 4-5 months, thanks to the assistance provided by the project the process was quicker.
“We knew very little about the whole complicated procedure. We were very happy when the contractor came and offered us assistance.” said Baigalmaa.
Under Baigalmaa’s leadership, other members of the cooperative received land titles through the project. With land as collateral, they finally received a housing loan that they are investing in building six houses and providing four gers (traditional dwellings) to other cooperative members.
“The contractor familiarized us with the process, collected our relevant materials, and soon we all received our land ownership certificates, which didn’t take any time and expense from our side. This was the helping hand that people like us needed.” Baigalmaa added.
Looking toward the future the cooperative also plans to grow vegetables for household use. If they produce more than they need, they will sell the surplus.
10,000 people have registered their land, benefiting from a one-stop shop that saves them time and money. Land ownership is helping both men and women invest in their land and have greater access to economic opportunities.
Original article on: http://www.mcc.gov/