Analysis of the Status of Women in the United Nations Duty Station in Nairobi
The UN’s commitment to achieving system-wide gender parity is underpinned by a strong legislative and institutional framework which has been consistently developed and strengthened since the founding of the United Nations in 1945. This framework includes the Charter of the United Nations (1945), the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) (1979), Resolutions of the General Assembly, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995).
The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action of 1995 set forth governments’ commitments to enhance women’s rights. Paragraph 193 of this Platform specifically outlines actions to be taken by the UN, including establishing a goal of 50:50 gender balance for UN staff at the professional levels and above by 2000. Prior to this, the UN General Assembly had adopted a number of resolutions targeting the increased representation of women within the UN system. In 1989, the General Assembly resolution 44/185 set the target of an “overall participation rate of 30 per cent of the total by 1990”. This was subsequently increased to 35 per cent for overall participation and 25 per cent at the D-1 level and above by 1995; and thereafter in 1998 adjusted to target 50/50 gender balance across all posts by the year 2000. Today, the goal of 50:50 gender parity applies to all categories of UN staff posts, regardless of the type or duration of appointment, the source of funding, or staff rules under which the appointment is made. Yet, progress towards these targets has been slow and uneven across the UN Development System and regionally.
The adoption of the Agenda 2030 in September 2015 can however be described as having constituted a critical milestone in efforts to advance accountability towards the advancement of gender equality and the empowerment of women (GEWE) globally - and within the UN Development System. In addition to the inclusion of a stand-alone Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on gender equality i.e. SDG 5 which aims to “ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life”, eleven of the other 17 SDGs also contain gender-related targets, thereby providing a stronger, more integrated imperative for the global community to its frame efforts to address GEWE– within broader development initiatives. In line with this, the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (2016-2020) adopted subsequent to the SDGs, called for all entities of the UN to promote GEWE by enhancing gender mainstreaming, through the full implementation of the System-wide Action Plan on GEWE as well as the UN Country Team performance indicators for GEWE (the gender scorecard), in particular with regard to gender-responsive performance management and strategic planning, the collection and use of sex-disaggregated data, reporting and resource tracking, to assist in mainstreaming gender equality in the preparation of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework, or equivalent planning framework.
In terms of the representation of women in leadership, UN Member states stressed the need to ensure equal and fair distribution based on gender balance and on as wide a geographical basis as possible”. Paragraph 73 of the QCPR (2016) went on to state that UN entities were to continue efforts “to achieve gender balance in appointments within the United Nations system at the global, regional and country levels for positions that affect operational activities for development, including appointments to resident coordinator and other high-level posts, with due regard to the representation of women from programme countries, in particular developing countries, while keeping in mind the principle of equitable geographic representation”. In line with this, and following the biennial report of the UN Secretary-General António Guterres on the “Improvement of the Status of Women in the UN system” of 27 July 2017, a System-wide Strategy on Gender Parity was launched on 13 September 2017 by the UN Secretary-General to support the realisation of this goal.
The Network of Women Leaders in the UN Nairobi Duty Station was established in 2013 to bring together senior women leaders committed to the promotion of GEWE within the UN Nairobi Duty Station and in their areas of work. It is co-chaired by the UN Undersecretary General and Director-General of the UN Nairobi Duty Station, and the Regional Director for UN Women’s regional office for East and Southern Africa (UN Women ESARO). UN Women ESARO also serves as the Network’s Secretariat. In recognition of the challenges many women working in the UN face in their efforts to advance their careers, the Network has sought to undertake advocacy-related initiatives, to support the career advancement efforts of women in 3 categories:
- General Services – to advance to professional staff categories;
- NOC/P3 level -to advance to NOD/P4 level and above;
- Transitions from P5 level and above.
Purpose and objectives of the consultancy:
The Network has embarked on efforts to support the implementation of this gender parity strategy within the UN Nairobi Duty Station, in recognition of the urgency of this agenda- and its intrinsic value to the realisation of relevant, inclusive and responsive UN Development System. To inform these efforts, UN Women wishes to undertake a comprehensive analysis of the status of women in the United Nations System in Nairobi. The scope of this analysis will be informed by the UN Women report titled: “Status of Women in the United Nations System” published in 2016. The analysis will also refer to other relevant studies and/or reports that have been undertaken by other UN institutions.
Duties and Responsibilities
Under the overall guidance of the UN Women Regional Director for ESARO and with the support of the Network and cooperation of participating agencies, funds and programs in the UN Nairobi Duty station, the Consultant will undertake the following:
1. Conduct a refreshed survey on gender parity in the UN system in Nairobi:
- By level (national or international, respectively) - by entity (agency/program/fund) i.e. disaggregated by the operational remit of the UN entity i.e. the country, regional and/or global;
- Include data on separation reasons from individual UN entities - by level, contract type, duration of service, age of separation;
- Following the survey, to compile a survey report and present the findings with a comparative analysis of UN entities - including a trend analysis (the consultant will refer to the structure and presentation of the UN Women report (2016) to guide them).
2. Review and document individual UN entities’ organisational arrangements for the design, implementation and/or monitoring of GEWE policies and practices- including a conducive organisational culture which is facilitative of the advancement of women:
- This includes to review and document individual UN entities’ organisational policies and/or programs or interventions undertaken to facilitate the increased recruitment, retention - and career progression of women, including from General Services to professional categories;
- Additionally, the Consultant should map out and document organisational policies and/or programs including temporary special measures to promote the increased representation of women in managerial and leadership positions;
- Thirdly the Consultant should review and document mechanisms put in place by different UN entities to support increased recruitment, capacity building and career progression for women within the UN system.
3. To survey the (reported) incidence of sexual harassment claims – at UN entity level, and identify ways this has impacted gender parity;
4. To identify ‘good practices’ in promoting and achieving gender parity and recommendations for individual entities to implement. As part of this effort, the consultant will undertake a desk review of the relevant reports/studies/research undertaken by UN entities globally, which are relevant to understanding the trends revealed by the analysis- and possible solutions;
5. To develop a presentation of the key findings of the gender parity analysis – and related information within the report, to be used in sharing the findings of the same for advocacy purposes.
- A draft report together with a compilation of the data that has been collected and collated to inform the report review and approval by the UN Women Regional Director for ESARO and the technical team of the Network advising on the assignment;
- A final report together with a compilation of the data which has been collected and analysed to inform the report;
- A PowerPoint presentation on the findings of the report.
Core Values/Guiding PrinciplesIntegrity:
- 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 CompetenciesEthics and Values:
- Demonstrate and safeguard ethics and integrity.
- Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment.
Development and Innovation:
- Take charge of self-development and take initiative.
Work in 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.
Communicating and Information Sharing:
- Facilitate and encourage open communication and strive for 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 behaviour towards others.
- Surface conflicts and address them proactively acknowledging different feelings and views and directing energy towards a mutually acceptable solution.
Continuous Learning and Knowledge Sharing:
- Encourage learning and sharing of knowledge.
Appropriate and Transparent Decision Making:
- Demonstrate informed and transparent decision making.
- Strong familiarity with the UN Development System;
- Knowledge of the UN reform agenda, and in particular the agenda to promote gender balance within the UN Development System is desirable;
- Strong familiarity of the UN Human Resources policies and systems would be an added advantage;
- Strong planning, goal-setting and prioritization skills;
- Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills;
- Excellent facilitation and communication skills;
- Ability to work well with diverse actors/individuals.
Required Skills and Experience
- Master’s in organizational development and/or organizational management, human resources, international relations, Gender/women’s studies and development and/or other relevant qualifications.
- Working experience and/or knowledge on gender equality, women’s rights with a specific emphasis on advancing women’s leadership, is desirable;
- Demonstrable experience in designing research projects, in collecting, organizing, managing, collating and analysing high volumes of data;
- Strong report writing- and presentation skills;
- Excellent working knowledge of Microsoft Office suite.
- Excellent command of written and spoken English is a requirement.