International Honoree

Chair, Gal Golomt
National Movement

Dr. Dorj Munkhuu is known throughout Mongolia as one of the country’s most revered and influential leaders. A great-grandmother, doctor and member of Parliament, Dr. Munkhuu has helped shape democracy in Mongolia and brought about changes that improve women’s health and position them to win social and political power.

She began her career as a doctor, having grown up in a family of herdsmen with a father who provided basic medical care, thanks to his military training, in her own and surrounding communities. She had witnessed his valued role in society, and also watched as her mother, like other women in nomadic families, shouldered the demands of raising both livestock and children— often at the expense of their health.

Under a socialist regime, Dr. Munkhuu distinguished herself as a leader and progressed quickly from practicing medicine to designing and running comprehensive health and social programs. In the 1990s Dr. Munkhuu won a seat in the new Parliament and became one of the first female parliamentarians of the Democratic system.

Dr. Munkhuu has since helped to write the country’s constitution and signed into law many provisions for assuring women’s health and dignity. Today, she works with UNFPA to bring health services to women in nomadic herder families and galvanizes women’s groups to reach across party lines and raise up political leaders from among the women of Mongolia.