UN Women: Elections and political participation specialist



UN Women: Elections and political participation specialist


Grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, UN Women will work 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 center of all its efforts, UN Women 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.

Women’s leadership and participation is one of UN Women’s primary areas of work as mandated in its inception, recognizing the integral role of women in strong and stable democratic processes. In order to promote the leadership and participation of women in decision-making processes, UN Women works to promote gender equality in parliaments, electoral bodies, political parties, media, and other institutions.

UN Women has a proven track-record in supporting women’s political participation through its projects across various regions, under the guidance of UN Women’s founding resolution (GA resolution 64/289) and its Strategic Plan. UN Women is increasingly being called upon by UN partners, civil society partners, donors and governments to provide specific and often short-term gender expertise for capacity building and policy support on women’s political rights, participation and leadership.

To achieve its objectives, and ensure a high quality rapid response capacity on women’s political rights, participation, leadership and influence, UN Women supports the adoption and implementation of constitutional reforms and other measures in laws and policies, (including temporary special measures), gender-responsive electoral processes, and institutional change to enhance women’s engagement on leadership positions.

With the generous support of the Government of Japan, UN Women will implement a one year programme in Central African Republic (CAR) to undertake a series of catalytic interventions to generate longer-term commitment by state authorities for sustainable programmes on gender equality and women’s empowerment and to strengthen women’s participation in all peace and security decision-making forums.

The programme will contribute to the following UN Women’s Strategic Plan Impact Areas:

  • Impact 1 Women lead and participate in decision making that affect their lives, through  providing specific gender expertise, capacity building and policy support on advancing women’s political empowerment and strategies on working effectively with actors like women leaders and aspiring women candidates, Civil Society, in particular women’s organisations, the electoral management body, media, youth groups and political parties;
  • Impact 4:  Peace and Security and humanitarian action are shaped by women’s leadership and participation (SP) supporting the advance of the protection of women and girls and promote women’s participation in key areas of peace and security, including conflict prevention and resolution, protection, justice and security sector reform, transitional justice, and national dialogue and reconciliation process.

Under Impact 1, and in coordination with the UNDP Electoral Assistance Programme in CAR (PACEC) and the UN Integrated Electoral Assistance Mission (UNIET), UN Women will deploy a gender and elections Specialist to support the UN’s overall efforts to promote women’s full participation in political and electoral processes, and ensure compliance with the gender equality-related recommendations in the electoral needs assessment. This will include building national capacities ahead of elections, gender responsive electoral management and civic education, awareness raising with political parties and the media; and building capacities of women’s CSOs, leaders and aspiring women candidates.

Under direct supervision of the Women, Peace and Security Programme Advisor, the Elections and Political Participation Specialist will be responsible to provide policy and programme advice and oversee the implementation of the Electoral Assistance Programme (PACEC) Programme gender component.


Duties and Responsibilities

Under the supervision of the Women, Peace and Security Programme Advisor, the Elections and Political Participation Specialist will be responsible for:

  • Establishing the parameters of work with the UN Integrated Electoral Assistance Mission and PACEC;
  • Provide support for integrating a gender equality perspective in all UN electoral assistance programming, and providing gender awareness training as needed;
  • Provide technical support on gender mainstreaming to the Electoral Management Body;
  • Develop a capacity building and advocacy strategy for political parties on gender responsive parties’ rules and regulations, with particular focus on candidates nomination procedures;
  • Develop a gender responsive voter awareness and civic education strategy in close coordination with CSOs;
  • Develop and oversee the implementation of a capacity building strategy targeting women leaders and aspiring female candidates;
  • Provide technical support to UN partners and electoral observers on gender responsive electoral violence prevention and mitigation;
  • Support CSOs and media organizations in the design and implementation of an advocacy strategy, and gender responsive electoral media coverage to improve women’s participation in decision-making positions;
  • Developing a media monitoring strategy;
  • Establish partnerships for long term implementation and finalize the development of  long term road map on gender equality and governance, ensuring coordination to avoid overlapping with existing programming in the country.



Core Values and Guiding Principles:


  • Demonstrate consistency in upholding and promoting the values of UN Women in actions and decisions, in line with the UN Code of Conduct.


  • Demonstrate professional competence and expert knowledge of the pertinent substantive areas of work.

Cultural sensitivity and valuing diversity:

  • Demonstrate an appreciation of the multicultural nature of the organization and the diversity of its staff;
  • Demonstrate an international outlook, appreciating difference in values and learning from cultural diversity.

Core Competencies:

Ethics and values:

  • Demonstrate and promote ethics and integrity by creating organizational precedents.

Organizational awareness:

  • Build support for the organization and ensure political acumen.

Development and innovation:

  • Support staff competence development, and contribute to an environment of creativity and innovation.

Work in teams:

  • Build and promote effective teams;
  • Demonstrate ability to work in a multicultural, multi ethnic environment and to maintain effective working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds.

Communication and information sharing:

  • Create and promote an environment for open and effective communication.

Self-management and emotional intelligence:

  • Stay composed and positive even in difficult moments, handle tense situations with diplomacy and tact, and have a consistent behavior towards others.

Conflict management:

  • Leverage conflicts and address them proactively acknowledging different feelings and views and directing energy towards a mutually acceptable solution.

Continuous learning and knowledge sharing:

  • Share knowledge across the organization and build a culture of knowledge sharing and learning.

Appropriate and transparent decision making: 

  • Ensure fair and transparent decision making processes and manage risk.

Functional Competencies:

  • Sound knowledge on women’s political participation issues;
  • Previous experience working on gender and elections in a variety of cultural and political contexts;
  • Ability to work effectively and harmoniously with people from varied cultures and professional backgrounds;
  • Previous experience in field-based election activities, including outreach, training, and election management;
  • Results based management skills;
  • Ability to produce well-written programme documents demonstrating analytical ability and communication skills.


Required Skills and Experience


  • Masters level degree in Political Science, Gender Studies, International Relations, History, or relevant field and/or equivalent practical experience.


  • At least 7 years of working experience in political participation, including proven experience integrating gender equality and electoral cycle;
  • Experience working with multi-stakeholder organizations is essential: governments, CSOs, and the UN/ multilateral/bilateral institutions;
  • Experience with UN electoral assistance in UN Mission settings.


  • Fluency in oral and written English & French is required
  • Working knowledge of other UN languages is an asset.


  • 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/about-us/employment;
  • Kindly note that the system will only allow one attachment, please combine all your documents into one (1) single PDF document . 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 click here