Sunday, August 10, 2014

Mongolia Brief August 8, 2014 Part IV



A.Battsetseg crowned Junior World Champion

By M. Zoljargal
August 10 (UB Post) Mongolian freestyle wrestler A.Battsetseg won a gold medal at the 2014 FILA Junior World Championships in Zagreb, Croatia, organized at Dom Sportova venue.

The championships launched on August 5 and women’s 48 kg, 55 kg, 63 kg and 72 kg weight division matches took place on Day 4.
A.Battsetseg beat all of her opponents in the preliminaries and semi-final, qualifying to the final to vie for the gold medal in 55 kg. She wrestled against Tatyana Kit of Ukraine in the final and won the match 10:0.
In the semi-final, she beat an opponent from Japan, Nanami Irie. The match ended 8:3 in favor of A.Battsetseg. She wrestled against wrestlers from Germany and China in preliminaries.
A.Battetseg is the seventh Junior World Champion and third female champion from Mongolia.

Director N.Naranbaatar shoots his third film

By D. Sergelen
August 10 (UB Post) State Honored Artist and General Director of the State Academic Drama Theater N.Naranbaatar announced that he is filming his 3rd movie.
He has previously directed pieces that have become a staple of Mongolian theater, such as “Nadaar togloson khair”, “Bootsoo”, “Bi ch gesen jargamaar baina”, “Tengeriin khuu”, and “Parisiin dari ehiin sum”.
N.Naranbaatar launched his first movie, “Ul tanikh emegtei” in 2011, which gained acclaim from audiences and critics in Mongolia.
His second movie, “Zuudend ch oromgui yavdal”, in 2013, also proved a success. “Zuudend ch oromgui yavdal” narrated the unexpected life and adventures of twins, and included many Mongolian twins aged from 6 to 75.
This time, N.Naranbaatar announced that he is going to start his the third movie, which was reportedly on his mind for two years. He plans to start filming on August 15. The movie will show three generations love, according to the director.
The stars of the movie and its release date haven’t been announced yet.

Light ahead for Mongolia’s LGBT youth

By Mathilde Michaud
August 10 (UB Post) Where do you see Mongolia’s LGBT community five years from now?
This is the first question which came to me as I attended the 2014 Mongolian LGBT Forum last weekend. Over the weekend, approximately 70 community members gathered for the first Mongolian LGBT forum. Transgender individuals, gays, lesbians, and bisexuals, they all met to discuss and find solutions to current LGBT issues. It was also an opportunity to show their colors and exchange ideas in a judgment-free environment.
When you think about Mongolia, you think fast development, construction, transformation. What if this was also valid for the LGBT community?
In 2014, public and police harassment is still considered the most frequent human rights violation endured by the community’s members, followed closely by discrimination in the workplace, according to the UNAIDS’ Desk Review on the Legal and Policy Environment of Sexual Minorities in Mongolia released on Friday.
“I have rarely heard of a transgender individual in the workplace, even when they have a really good education,” G.Nyampurev, program officer at the Together Centre told me, “exceptionally, they work for NGOs and many have to turn to sex work.”
Furthermore, the marriage law formally opposes homosexual unions and most members of the LGBT community have not been able to have their couple status recognized for official processes.
But even then, the youth seems to believe in a change for Mongolia.
“Compared to other Asian countries, Mongolia is far more advanced regarding gender equality, so we have a good basis for LGBT and human rights improvement,” Batzorig Sukhbat, youth/trans program manager at the LGBT Centre told the UB Post.
Indeed, the LGBT community is not alone working on the amelioration of human rights in Mongolia. For the past several years, trade unions have been battling for greater equality and a safer work environment for women, a fight that could greatly benefit LGBT workers in Mongolia.
Alongside these efforts, reforms and amendments are being pushed by both women and LGBT NGOs for changes to the Constitution and Labor Law to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the list of criteria upon which employers cannot discriminate.
But for real improvement to happen, Mongolian LGBT need to take actions for themselves.
“Straight individuals cannot take actions for us,” emphasized G.Nyampurev, “we need to work for ourselves first.”
While this demand would have seemed a lost cause a few years ago, the popularity of the forum showed that it is possible for the community to take such a fight on its shoulders.
“Only two or three years ago, when we organized community training, no one would show up. Now, it is the opposite, we don’t have enough room for everybody,” added G.Nyampurev enthusiastically.
To many in the community, creating a sense of common identity is the first step towards change. Only after that, can they expect there to be a successful dialogue with Mongolian officials.
A number of community based initiatives have also been engaged to improve the quality of life for LGBT individuals.
Mugi, a transgender woman from Ulaanbaatar, started a business project to employ transgender individuals, but, as underlined by the Desk Review, economic and social support from outside the community has been very difficult to acquire and she is still searching for investors.
The need for a shelter was also raised by G.Nyampurev, stressing that not only are many LGBT individuals without a job, but also without a home.
Difficulties along the road, however, do not seem to scare this new and young LGBT community.
“We need to be brave!” proclaimed G.Nyampurev, “Never give up. If you are brave you can change everything!”
To which, Batzorig added, “I do believe in Mongolian people. We love democracy, we love human rights, so the people could make the change. In five years it is going to be beautiful, because we have youth; open minded youth!”
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