[Asian Girls Award] Myagmarsuren Gansuk (Miga): The Winner of 2019 Asian Girls Human Rights Award 2021/06/28

Myagmarsuren Gansuk (Miga)

The Winner of 2019 Asian Girls Human Rights Award


Miga was elected as an Asian Girls Ambassador in the category of Human Rights for her courage and strength to confront gender stereotypes at all levels.


At school, she decalred that girls should be allowed to play the Morin Khuur—the traditional Mongolian string instrument – even if that means sitting with their legs apart. At the national level, she has represented her district to raise awareness of gender issues. At the international levels, she represented Mongolia and Asia at the Zurich Conference to speak about the difficulties faced by young girl advocates.


Upon receiving her award, Miga dived straight into her project against “girls examination“  which happens nationally to girls between grade7-12 in school. She and her team reached out 370 school girls across the age group to ask about their thoughts and experiences towards the test. According to the UN Human Rights Office, virginity testing is “medically unnecessary, and often time painful, humiliating and traumatic practice must end”.


Although Mongolian officials claim that the test is to benefit the wellbeing and growth of the girls’ health the practice is not standardised across the country. Each school decides on their own when they would roll out their examination, whether they would do the testing individually for the girls, and what reproductive health information they would give out to the girls.


Girls who took part in Miga’s survey pointed out that although 5 out of 10 girls understand that the examination is used to protect girls’ reproductive health, yet simultaneously 20% of the girls do not know why they have to take the test and 30 % consider the tests to be a virginity test. Only 20% of the girls felt they had sufficient and profound knowledge of reproductive health and only 23% felt the test was effective in preventing risks such as unwanted pregnancy and STDs. The findings from the research demonstrate that girls do not feel “the girls’ examination” to benefit neither girls’ health nor knowledge over their health as claimed by the government. Moreover, an over-alarming 72% of girls said that they did not give their consent to the tests and 2 out of 5 participants (43.7%) answered that regardless of their decision, they had been forcefully examined.


Miga and her team published the report receiving lots of attention amongst the press and media and had successfully get boys and girls to re-evaluate the necessity of the tests. The discussion was so widespread that it was even part of a drama on national TV! However, there is still a long way to go with the project. As of now, the government has rejected the survey conducted by Miga’s teams to be published and Miga personally had to face hate comments asking why she was afraid of taking the examination. Even so, this has only reinforced her determinations to fight for the rights of girls and protect the well-being of human rights advocates.


Do you want to be the next Asian Girls Ambassador?

👉IF you believe gender equality should be a lived experience for girls and for girls to grow in an environment without violence, WE WANT YOU.


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Photo credit: Save the Children Mongolia

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