Female herder

Living as a female herder in Mongolia

The harsh & challenging weather in Mongolia is not one man’s job. The tenacity, bravery, and wisdom it takes to herd require the ingenuity of a woman.  

The majority of women in a herding family take as much part in animal husbandry as men in addition to their house duties which makes their role very important in this ancient nomadic lifestyle. Women are usually in charge of milking the animals, processing the dairy products, and combing the wool and cashmere in the spring. Since they are also making decisions about flock sizes and selling and keeping the products, their decision-making skills are inevitable in making a living pursuing this challenging career.  

Female herder

In addition to taking part in herding, we can’t forget about their duties as a wife, a mom, and an educator in the family. Their daily job is not a second less than a man, but more. Their place in the household is getting seen as more equal than ever in recent years as they are getting more education and more rights through different projects focused on female herders.  

Winter in Mongolia, female herders

With the income coming from tending to their animals, more children and more herders get to receive an education and live an easier life. Being a herder is not a simple life, but it is challenging and risky. Only 9,6% of the Mongolian population is herders and women are an integral part of passing down this traditional lifestyle and preparing the future generation of herders. Being a female herder doubles the hardship but doubles the responsibility. Happy International women’s day to all women.  


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