Policy Analyst / Consultant SSA– 6 months
New York City (United States of America)
Background and justification
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 will lead and coordinate the United Nations system’s 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, while building effective partnerships with civil society and other relevant actors.
Violence against women is an egregious, global and persistent manifestation of the systemic power of men over women. Its resilience over time and place testifies to the insidious tolerance of such abuse. All such violence, abuse and exploitation impede women’s enjoyment of human rights and deny dignity, autonomy and equality. The ending of such violence is a core area of work in UN Women’s 2018-21 Strategic Plan.
UN Women pays tribute to the courage of women across the world who have over many decades of activism, advocacy and struggle, placed violence against them on the public policy agenda. Their imagination of, and calls for, a world without violence has informed the SDG5 commitment to eliminate all such violence. The CEDAW committee has stated that violence against women constitutes sex discrimination. It is thus prohibited under international law and states have duties to end it. The human rights discourse has named sexual violence as an abuse of human rights.
In 2017, the #MeToo wave of denouncement and notice given by women against sexual harassers sent shock waves around the world. It connected with many other global agitations to end violence and to press for the end of impunity for it, and it raised hopes that a turning point had been reached in the tolerance and enabling of sexual abusers. The calling out of abusers and the demand for accountability reached into the aid sector and the United Nations. In response, the Secretary-General established a High-Level Task Force (HLTF) to review existing policies and practices and make recommendations for improvement. It is led by the UN Under-Secretary-General for Management.
In March 2018 the Executive Director of UN Women created a special assignment of Executive Coordinator and Spokesperson on Sexual Harassment and other forms of discrimination. The role was established to place women’s experiences at the heart of work against sexual harassment and to bring survivor-focused approaches to the fore. The Executive Coordinator’s post serves to link UN Women with the #MeToo and #AidToo activists, as well as others taking forward global work to end violence against women. It seeks to provide support and amplify the voices of those in the women’s movement seeking justice and an end to sexual harassment and all forms of sexual assault of women. It works with member states to bring promising practices to bear and support efforts to end such aggression. In particular, the position seeks to coordinate internal UN Women’s efforts towards decisive action on this pressing issue and lead UN Women externally as it engages with the UN system’s review of policies and practices on sexual harassment.
In this work, UN Women recognises that the links between the various forms of violence against women form a continuum, understands these as sex and gender-based discrimination, acknowledges the gendered nature of the distribution of power, its sexualised dimensions, and the need to ensure justice and dignity for women at home and in the world, including in the world of work.
Duties and Responsibilities
The Policy Analyst / Consultant in the office of the Executive Coordinator and Spokesperson on Sexual Harassment and Other Forms of Discrimination (hereinafter the Executive Co-ordinator) will provide support across a range of areas of work. The office is small and operates under high pressure with urgent needs for timely analytical information, coherent policy advice, event organising, internal co-ordination, engagement with system-wide developments and, centrally, placing the voices and experiences of victim-survivors at the core of this work. The consultant will need to be able to work under pressure and with discretion in a sensitive and challenging environment. He/she will require excellent communication and organization skills to manage a varied, demanding agenda and to support a senior colleague with a spokesperson brief.
Within the relevant delegated authority, the Policy Analyst / Consultant will be responsible for the following duties:
Required Skills and Experience
- Master’s degree (or equivalent) in one of the following disciplines: women’s studies/gender studies, international development, human rights, law, social sciences, political science, international relations
- At least 2 years of relevant experience in international organizations, preferably in the United Nations system and its organizations, and preferably focused on ending violence against women
- Experience working in roles to prevent and address sexual harassment is an asset
- Written and oral proficiency in English is required;
Knowledge of another UN working language is desirable.