Gender and Governance Consultant – Home-based with limited travel
Over 2.5 billion women and girls around the world are affected by discriminatory laws and the lack of legal protections, often in multiple ways. The spaces in which laws have been designed, implemented or even studied as a profession have historically excluded women and girls. As a result, their voices and perspectives continue to be largely absent from laws and legal practices. Discrimination in law is commonplace and includes different standards for women and men in applying for a passport, choosing employment, transferring nationality to a child or foreign spouse, participating in court proceedings, receiving inheritance and deciding when and whom to marry.
Law reform more broadly, and the repeal or revision of discriminatory laws specifically, are inherent to the achievement of gender equality—a requirement for realizing the transformative ambitions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. They also form part of specific State obligations enshrined in relevant international conventions and United Nations standards and norms.
Even though laws that promote gender equality can yield multiple dividends, progress in eliminating discriminatory laws has been uneven. Among other potential benefits, a law that enables women to inherit on an equal basis with men and boys could empower mothers to invest in the education of their daughters. This increases women’s average age of marriage, because girls who stay in school are less likely to be married off. On the other hand, lower levels of gender equality in national laws are associated with fewer girls enrolled in primary and secondary education, fewer women in skilled work, fewer women owning land, fewer women accessing financial and health services and more women facing domestic, family and sexual violence. The McKinsey Global Institute (2015) estimates that women’s equality in wages and labour force participation would boost global Gross Domestic Product by an astonishing $28 trillion by 2025.
Toward this end, UN Women, the African Union, the Commonwealth, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie and Secretaría General Ibero-Americana have issued Equality in Law for Women and Girls by 2030: A Multistakeholder Strategy for Accelerated Action as a roadmap for the elimination of laws that discriminate against women and girls. The strategy seeks to fast track the repeal of discriminatory laws in 100 countries between 2019 and 2023, focusing on six thematic areas. The strategy addresses the legal needs of over 50 million women and girls globally and was launched at a high-level event of the 63rd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women.
As an institution that is accountable to women and girls, Parliaments all over the world enact new laws and review and repeal existing laws to ensure that legal frameworks remain relevant to the everyday realities of women and girls. As a key partner of the strategy, the IPU is the focal point for world-wide parliamentary dialogue and to that end, fosters contacts, coordination, and the exchange of experience among parliaments and parliamentarians of all countries and considers questions of international interest and concern with a view to engendering action among parliaments and parliamentarians among others.
On this basis and within the framework of the strategy on Equality in Law for Women and Girls by 2030, UN Women and the IPU are seeking to engage an international consultant to design a Handbook on Gender Responsive Legislative Reforms for Parliamentarians as a tool for enhancing the capacities and awareness of Parliamentarians on the scale of de jure inequality and the benefits of gender-equal laws.
Duties and Responsibilities
Under the direct supervision of the Rule of Law Advisor (justice and constitutions) at UN Women HQ in New York and in close consultation with relevant staff of the IPU, the consultant will produce a Handbook on Gender Responsive Legislative Reforms for Parliamentarians as a practical reference tool for parliamentarians in their day to day work on gender-responsive law making. The assignment will entail the following tasks:
Task 1: Prepare the handbook (estimated 25 days)
The Handbook will not exceed 40 pages and must reflect an understanding of parliamentary business, parliamentary debates, the parliamentary cycle and the process of legislative reforms across different jurisdictions and legal systems from a gender perspective. It will make the case for the repeal of existing discriminatory laws and provide guidance to parliamentarians on how to support gender-responsive law making throughout the parliamentary cycle. The Handbook will furthermore include examples of gender-responsive legal reforms across different jurisdictions and thematic areas.
Task 2: Facilitate a consultative meeting and prepare final draft of the handbook (estimated 15 days)
The consultant will also facilitate a one-day consultative meeting in New York with selected parliamentarians from around the world in March 2020 and integrate the agreed outcomes of this consultative process into the final draft of the Handbook.
Core Values and Guiding Principles:
- Demonstrates integrity by modeling UN Women and IPU values and ethical standards;
- Demonstrates a commitment to UN Women’s and IPUs missions and visions:
- Able to work effectively within teams:
- Displays cultural and gender sensitivity and adaptability:
- Able to multi-task and juggle competing demands:
- Can assess and prioritize work needs quickly and:
- Able to relate to external partners, including other international organizations and agencies, NGOs, grassroots community groups etc.
- Sound practical knowledge on parliamentary procedures and legislative reforms related to gender equality:
- Previous experience in drafting handbooks and knowledge products for parliamentarians:
- Ability to work effectively and harmoniously with people from varied cultures and professional backgrounds, demonstrating excellent interpersonal communication skills:
- Ability to produce well-written reports and/or programme documents demonstrating analytical ability and:
- Excellent communication skills.
Required Skills and Experience
Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in Law, international relations or social sciences.
- At least 10 years of experience of working in areas related to gender-responsive parliaments and parliamentary strengthening;
- Sound knowledge of parliamentary procedures and legislative reforms;
- In-depth understanding of international standards on human rights and women’s rights;
- Experience with UN Intergovernmental processes, including those related to women’s empowerment, gender mainstreaming and gender equality;
- Experience in drafting knowledge products and handbooks for use by practitioners and/or policymakers;
- Experience in facilitating workshops.
Fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of other UN official languages will be an asset.
Application closing date: 20th September 2019 (Midnight New York, USA)