UN Women, grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; the empowerment of women; and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security.
In view of the crucial contribution of civil society organizations in the advancement of gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s rights, the role of civil society and the women’s movement as partners, supporting UN Women’s leadership, is seen as fundamental in the full realization of gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment. UN Women’s unique and critical role in engaging civil society and partnership building with women’s organizations as stakeholders to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment will be key drivers in helping UN Women achieve its strategic goals and fulfil its organizational mandate.
UN Women works to strengthen civil society’s historically crucial role in leading global action on gender equality including promoting reform, influencing policies, monitoring and upholding accountability of duty bearers. In light of UN Women’s Strategic Plan 2018-21, the importance of building alliances and movements for gender equality is seen as a key factor in the achievement of the gender equality agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.
In this context, UN Women is engaging with civil society to develop a strategy to support women human rights defenders who , who have seen a concerted pushback in many spaces, including through intimidation and violence. UN Women seeks to hire a lead consultant to develop research, analysis and a set of recommendations on the support and protection that can be accorded to women human rights defenders at the country and community level.
Under the direction of the Director and the guidance of the Deputy of the Civil Society Division, the lead consultant will work with the Civil Society Division, to develop the Women Human Rights Defenders strategy to be rolled out in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Duties and Responsibilities
Develop analysis and a set of recommendations on the support and protection that can be accorded to women human rights defenders by UN Women
- consult with UN Women’s regional and country offices as well as other UN partners (e.g. OHCHR, UNHCR etc.) on the issues related to women human rights defenders (WHRDs) in varying political and social contexts
- consult with UN Women civil society partners, especially feminist organisations, and also individual activists and experts, with a particular emphasis on grassroots organisations and individuals with limited institutional support;
- Using the consultations, as well as existing contemporary literature on the status of women human rights defenders (desk review), draw up a set of background notes that will anchor the development of a strategy for UN Women to support and protect WHRDs in varying contexts; these background notes will include case studies and best practices
- Using analysis gleaned from the background notes, the strategy must include a concrete set of implementable recommendations for UN Women to roll out at the earliest, including advocacy work at the intergovernmental level (global and regional) as well as in varying national contexts.
- The consultations should be both in person (where possible, given limited financial resources), as well as via phone and online, ensuring that the voices of both our institutional civil society partners as well as the most marginalised of WHRDs is captured in the overall strategy; the lead consultant will be expected to map out a set of consultation spaces (physical and virtual) with the Civil Society Division at the onset of the consultancy;
- Given the diverse nature of the consultations, the lead consultant will work with another consultant who will provide both substantive as well as logistical support, but the lead consultant will be responsible for managing the entire process with the guidance of the Civil Society Division.
- An informal reference group of feminist civil society actors (institutional and individual) with experience in supporting WHRDs will guide the development of the strategy; the lead consultant will be responsible for periodically consulting with, and briefing, the informal reference group, in collaboration with the Civil Society Division
- Timely attention and response to UN Women’s partners and country/regional/global offices
- Quality inputs to UN Women civil society strategy on support to and protection of women human rights defenders
- Respect for Diversity
- Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues
- Creative Problem Solving
- Effective Communication
- Inclusive Collaboration
- Stakeholder Engagement
- Leading by Example
- Strong knowledge of gender equality and women's rights issues;
- Demonstrated ability to interact effectively with partners, especially women’s right organisations
- Proven networking skills, and ability to mobilize support on behalf of UN Women;
- Excellent writing and analytical skills;
- Knowledge and understanding of UN system and familiarity with inter-governmental processes, and especially of UN Women’s mandate;
- Excellent IT skills, including databases, extranet and office software packages;
Required Skills and Experience
Education and certification:
- Master’s degree or equivalent in social sciences, international relations, communications, women's studies, or a related field is required.
- At least 10 years of progressively responsible experience in civil society strategy development, mobilization and communications/ advocacy;
- Experience in gender equality and women's empowerment;
- Experience working with civil society organizations, international institutions and donors;
- Experience working in the UN system is an asset.
- Fluency in English
- Knowledge of the other UN official working language is an asset.
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