UN Women: Job-Policy Adviser (Women's Political Participation)

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UN Women: Job-Policy Adviser (Women's Political Participation)


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. Placing women’s rights at the centre of all its efforts, UN Women (UNW) will lead and coordinate United Nations system efforts to ensure that commitments on gender equality and gender mainstreaming translate into action throughout the world. It will provide strong and coherent leadership in support of Member States’ priorities and efforts, building effective partnerships with civil society and other relevant actors.
Increasing women’s political participation in all forms of political engagement has long been a priority for UN WOMEN. Work on political participation is a core issue to achieve good governance. That implies democratic governance and this is a key area of work for all UN WOMEN offices. Increasing the numbers of women in public office is essential to building inclusive democracy at national and local levels.
UN WOMEN’s goal is to eliminate obstacles that prevent women from full participation in the political domain, and to facilitate the implementation of legislative and executive agendas on gender equality, meaning participation, human rights and social justice.
Increased political participation by women in national legislatures is an indicator of progress toward MDG3. Yet progress toward achieving even the minimum target of 30% representation of women in national parliaments, envisioned in the Beijing Platform of Action, has been slow: the worldwide average is 19.5% of the members of the single or lower national parliaments, while upper houses/senates consist of 18.7 % women. Two countries have met parity. Seven countries still have no women in parliament, and 46 countries have less than 10%.IPU-UN Women 2012). As at June 2012, only 32 countries have more than 30% women in their parliaments. At the current rate of progress, it will take developed countries at least 20 years and all other countries closer to 40 years to reach the parity zone between 40 and 60 per cent.
The General Assembly voted last session ( 2011) with consensus  to recognize the central role of women in decision-making and committed to concrete action to give women better access to leadership positions and elected office (GA resolution on women and political participation (A/RES/66/130)).
The work of the Policy Advisor will be linked to a number of global initiatives and networks that UN WOMEN is supporting, to advance women’s political participation in the Arab States and in the Pacific. Another important area will be increasing South-South and South-North cooperation on this issue. The Policy Advisor will provide advice to the Executive Director and the Directorate on institutional initiatives related to Women’s Political Participation.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the supervision of the Section Chief, the Policy Advisor will be responsible for the following duties:
Analysis, technical guidance and monitoring of trends, opportunities and challenges: 
  • Build a comprehensive knowledge and diagnosis  of the opportunities and challenges facing women who aspire for political office and make this available to UN WOMEN staff and its partners;
  • Track efforts to support women’s increased political participation as voters, candidates and elected officials and influence at regional, subregional, national and local levels;
  • Develop guidance notes, tip sheets and other knowledge products that analyze and synthesize lessons and experiences that address systemic obstacles to women’s more effective political participation;
  • Represent UN WOMEN at inter-governmental and regional levels for women’s political participation;
  • Propose plans of action for immediate and long range work on women’s political participation;
  • Work in collaboration with the rest of the Section and the Policy Division to identify promising practices, technical expertise, and strategic opportunities for enhancing women’s political participation as well as the effectiveness of women political actors in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Develop and manage partnerships and global programmes:
  • Work closely with UN WOMEN’s sub regional and national programme offices to support the development and implementation of programmes for scaling up efforts to increase women’s participation as candidates and voters.
  • Organize technical consultations, South-South and South-North exchanges and other opportunities to share experiences and promising practices on effective means of enhancing women’s political influence;
  • Promote coordination and participation in joint activities with various stakeholders to work collaboratively in pursuit of the shared goal of increasing women’s political participation such as: UN agencies,Women’s National Machineries, civil society organizations,  Inter-governmental organizations, media and donors to leverage results and advocate for policy change;
  • Work closely with women affected by discrimination and exclusion such as indigenous women, afro-descendant women, etc.;
  • Work closely with UN WOMEN’s evaluation team to support learning and evaluation of efforts to enhance women’s political participation;
  • Acts as a trainer in courses.
Interagency coordination and collaboration:
  • Support interagency coordination and partnerships on political participation areas mainly with the Department for Political Affairs and UNDP (provide comments and inputs to reports, technical inputs etc.). 
Normative and intergovernmental:
  • Provide technical input into relevant inter-governmental fora and debates, including by producing background material, policy documents, positions etc. on women’ political participation.
  • Support implementation of resolutions, decisions and other directives on women’s political participation.
Impact of Results
  • The Policy Advisor impacts on success of the efforts to develop and implement the UN Women Policy Strategies. The Policy Advisor is responsible for developing and implementing the organization’s policies on political participation to achieve gender equality and advancement of women.


Core Values and Guiding Principles:
  • Demonstrating consistency in upholding and promoting the values of UN Women in actions and decisions, in line with the UN Code of Conduct.
Cultural Sensitivity/Valuing diversity:
  • Demonstrating an appreciation of the multicultural nature of the organization and the diversity of its staff. Demonstrating an international outlook, appreciating differences in values and learning from cultural diversity.
 Core Competencies and Principal Values:  
Ethics and Values:
  • Promoting Ethics and Integrity / Creating Organizational Precedents
Organizational Awareness:
  • Building support and political acumen.
Planning and organizing:
  • Proven ability to plan strategic direction and ability to organize and service intergovernmental bodies and international technical meetings
Developing and Empowering People / coaching and mentoring:
  • Building staff competence, creating an environment of creativity and innovation
Working in Teams:
  • Proven record of building and managing teams and creating an enabling and collaborative work environment, including the ability to effectively lead, supervise, mentor, develop and evaluate staff.
Communicating Information and Ideas:
  • Creating and promoting enabling environment for open communication
Self-management and Emotional intelligence:
  • Creating an emotionally intelligent organization
Conflict Management / Negotiating and Resolving Disagreements:
  • Leveraging conflict in the interests of the organization & setting standards.
  •  Ability to interact and negotiate with high-level government officials are required
Knowledge Sharing / Continuous Learning:
  • Sharing knowledge across the organization and building a culture of knowledge sharing and learning.
Appropriate and Transparent Decision Making:
  • Fair and transparent decision-making; calculated risk-taking
Commitment to continuous learning:
  •  Willingness to keep abreast of new developments in the field of gender equality thematic areas Leadership
  •  Proven track record of excellent management and technical leadership skills and ability to delegate appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority.
Functional Competencies
  • Familiarity with parliamentary procedures in countries worldwide.
  • Ability to conduct political and electoral analysis.
  • Ability to evaluate international political problems
  • Ability to work in the field providing assistance on political, parliamentarian, institutional and electoral issues.
  • Knowledge of functioning of political parties.
  • Knowledge of different electoral systems electoral justice.
  • Ability to produce concise and easy to understand text on complex issues.
  • Demonstrated ability to interact with high-level decision-makers and to develop productive partnerships.
  • Excellent networking skills.
  • Background in working on electoral and legislative issues.
  • Previous experience with UN processes, including those related to women’s empowerment and gender equality, such as the UN Fourth Conference on Women (Beijing, 1995) and its follow up sessions
  • Successful track record in promoting women’s human rights and gender equality in professional capacity.
  • Proven presentation skills.  
  • Familiarity with the United Nations System and UN WOMEN.
  • Substantive knowledge and understanding of gender equality issues as well as more broadly, human rights and development cooperation.
  • Experience in programme design, coordination and implementation.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Master degree (or equivalent) in gender issues related disciplines, economics, finance and other related fields.
  • A minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible experience related to work on legislative affairs or managing public policies or budgetary policy affairs.
  • Proven experience in advocating for women’s empowerment and rights.
  • Proven track record in programme implementation and management and working with women’s empowerment issues.  
  • Familiarity with UN intergovernmental processes, with a focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment and knowledge of UN system gender architecture and strategic stakeholders/partners is required.
  • Managerial Competencies/ Supervisory and management experience is a requirement including proven strong people management skills.
  • Excellent public speaking skills.
  • Proven record of writing and/or publishing on policy and programmatic aspects of gender equality thematic areas including conducting and directing research, data collection and publication
Language Requirements:
  • Written and oral proficiency in English is required. Knowledge of another UN working language is an advantage.
In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. The creation of UN Women came about as part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact. It merges and builds on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system (DAW, OSAGI, INSTRAW and UNIFEM), which focused exclusively on gender equality and women's empowerment.

All applications must include (as an attachment) the completed UN Women Personal History form (P-11) which can be downloaded from http://www.unwomen.org/en/about-us/employment/

Kindly note that the system will only allow one attachment. Applications without the completed UN Women P-11 form will be treated as incomplete and will not be considered for further assessment.

To apply please visit: UN Women Employment

UN Women