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Political Participation Intern

New York City (United States of America)

  • Organization: UN WOMEN - United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
  • Location: New York City (United States of America)
  • Grade: Internship
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Women's Empowerment and Gender Mainstreaming
    • International Relations
    • Political Affairs
    • Social Affairs
    • Democratic Governance
    • Civil Society and Local governance
  • Closing Date: 2018-04-30

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UN Women Background:

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.

Unit/ Project Background:

One of the thematic priorities of UN Women is the promotion of women’s political participation and leadership. The Political Participation unit in the Leadership and Governance Section supports UN Women’s work in this area, as framed under Outcome 2 of the Entity’s Strategic Plan 2018-2021 “Women lead, participate in, and benefit equally from governance systems”, recognizing the integral role of women in strong and stable democratic processes.

The Political Participation unit has supported implementation of the SDGs and the 2030 agenda, as guided by the UN Women’s Flagship Programme on Women’s Political Empowerment and Leadership. The Flagship Programme is designed to achieve SDG Target 5.5: 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.”  The Political Participation team  i) provides targeted policy guidance and advisory services on women’s political participation at global, regional and country levels; ii) generates knowledge through practical research, and tools development for country implementation; iii) fosters partnerships across the UN System, and with donors, international organizations and civil society groups, to promote women’s political participation and leadership; and iv) provides policy and advisory support to promote women’s political participation and leadership in over 70 countries.

The Political Participation team is also leading the work on SDG indicator 5.5.1b, “proportion of seats held by women in local government”, one of the SDG indicators under the custody of UN Women. As part of this work, UN Women has developed the methodology of the indicator, and currently coordinates data compilation for the global monitoring of the indicator and the national institutional capacity building to ensure systematic availability of data on women’s political participation. Within this framework, UN Women is seeking to bolster its research and knowledge capacities to assist (a) UN Women Country Offices in improving women’s political participation and (b) national stakeholders with a role in producing the relevant data. 

Under the supervision of the Political Participation Advisor and/or the Policy Specialist on Local Government, the Intern will support ongoing research and knowledge management aimed to develop knowledge products on key niche areas on women’s political participation including on: (i) organization of local government across countries; (ii) women's representation in local government; and (iii) women’s participation in political processes, including women’s suffrage.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Intern is expected to undertake the following tasks:

  • Assist with development of standardized local government country profiles needed to provide context for women’s representation in local government and support data exchange on SDG indicator 5.5.1b;

  • Assist with development of technical materials targeted to national stakeholders with a role in producing data on women’s representation in local government;

  • Undertake research on different areas related to women’s political participation, as needed, including on women’s suffrage;

  • Provide support to other activities in the women’s political participation area, including the organization of meetings related to the topic, as needed.

Learning Objectives:

The unit to which the Intern is assigned will be responsible for providing adequate learning opportunities and exposure to a wide range of the Leadership and Governance Section’s work – policy and programme advice, creation of knowledge products, organization of workshops, and partnerships with leading institutions in relevant areas.

The Intern will be introduced to the larger range of policy work done by various sections in the Policy Division of UN Women and the various policy documents prepared by the governance teams in headquarters and in the regions.

The Intern will also be provided with networking and broader learning opportunities through Brown Bag Lunches, and Learn seminars.


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 safeguard ethics and integrity.

Organizational Awareness:

  • 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 behavior towards other.

Conflict Management:

  • 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.

Functional Competencies:

  • Knowledge on gender equality and political participation;

  • Academic and research experience of working on gender and politics;
  • Ability to work effectively and harmoniously with people from varied cultures and professional backgrounds;

  • Ability to produce well-written policy and research documents; and

  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills.

  • Strong written and oral communication skills in English. Knowledge of another UN working language is an advantage.
  • Keen interest in inclusive participation issues and gender equality.

Required Skills and Experience


  • The Intern must have studies in Political Science, Gender, Human Rights, International Relations or related field or other similar subject at the university level.
  • Be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher); Be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (minimum Bachelor's level or equivalent); Have graduated with a university degree and, if selected, must commence the internship within a one-year period of graduation.


  • Excellent communication skills (written and oral) in English are required; Working knowledge of another UN language a distinct advantage

Interns are not financially remunerated by UN Women.

Application Information:

  • UN Women will only be able to respond to those applications in which there is further interest.

  • Selected applicants must provide the internship application, two letters of recommendation, proof of health insurance and school enrollment, passport, and visa (if applicable)


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

UN Women Internship Policy:

1) Applicants to the United Nations internship programme must at the time of application meet one of the following requirements:

(a)    Be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher);

(b)    Be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (minimum Bachelor’s level or         equivalent);

(c)    Have graduated with a university degree (as (b) above) and, if selected, must commence the internship within one year.

2) UN Women internship programme does not provide a salary or remuneration for the internship;

3) All the expenses connected with the internship will be borne by the intern, sponsoring Government or institution;

4) UN Women accepts no responsibility for costs arising from accidents and/or illness or death incurred during the internship;

5) The intern is responsible for obtaining necessary visas and arranging travel to and from the duty station where the internship will be performed;

6) Interns are not eligible to apply for, or be appointed to, any post in UN WOMEN during the period of the internship or for six months immediately following the expiration date of internship;

7) The intern must provide proof of enrollment in a health insurance plan, proof of school enrollment, a scanned copy of his/her passport, two letters of recommendation, and application.

Click here for important information for US Permanent Residents ('Green Card' holders).
UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.
We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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