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International consultant to carry out the study on the gender situation in Guinea-Bissau

Bissau (Guinea-Bissau)

  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: Bissau (Guinea-Bissau)
  • Grade: International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Women's Empowerment and Gender Mainstreaming
    • Scientist and Researcher
  • Closing Date: 2020-05-24

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In Guinea-Bissau, several studies show that gender inequality is present in all domains (Embaló, 2017, (2020 for UNDP); Mendes, 2018). In the legislative framework, despite the approval of the parity law in 2018, which foresees 36% of female representation in the National Popular Assembly, women continue to occupy only 14% of parliamentary seats (ROAR, 2019), this highlights the limited role that women have played over time in political dialogue.

In the economic sector, women and men in Guinea-Bissau are generally confronted with phenomenon of inequality, but the feminization of poverty is highly visible, because men control the available resources and women's paid work is harder and less productive. Domestic work does not allow women to concentrate on income-generating activities and leads to a significant proportion of girls being left out of the education system.

Women, both in Bissau and in the regions, are involved in small-scale trade, market sales and service provision. Despite the scarcity of statistics, the data provided under the National Policy for Gender Equality and Equity (PNIEG, 2017) indicate that women represent 51.6% of people involved in the informal sector and particularly women heads of households (62 , 2%) (GP: 2015).

The exclusion and discrimination of women in Guinea-Bissau is supported by the logic of patriarchal power. Women are exposed to various types of violence, such as female genital mutilation, domestic violence, early marriage, levirate, polygamy, gerontocracy, etc. (Mendes, 2018). These inequalities are based on social gender practices, which start from childhood and persist throughout life. Indeed, the factors that contribute to gender inequality are still present in several communities that make up the country (Mendes, 2018).

Current statistical data on formal education shows that women on average attend school for only 1.4 years, less than half that of Guinean men, who have an average of 3.4 years of schooling (MICS, 2014). The reasons for the low presence of girls in the education system are related to factors such as early pregnancy, family poverty, domestic work, etc.

The country faces enormous challenges that stem from climate change. Thus, although it is an insignificant emitter of greenhouse gases, it is vulnerable to its consequences because of its geographical position (lowland): coastal erosion, salinization of agricultural land, rising sea levels, floods, which engender negative consequences in the lives of women, especially those living in rural areas.

The evaluation of the Country Program Document, carried out in 2019, recommends that UNDP should pay sufficient attention to gender mainstreaming in its program, that is, focus on activities that promote the adoption of behavior patterns that favor the empowerment of women.

A avaliação do Documento Programa do País, efetuado em 2019, recomenda que o PNUD deve dispensar a atenção suficiente à integração de género no seu programa, isto é, concentrar em promoção de atividades que propiciem adoção de padrões de comportamentos que favoreçam ao empoderamento das mulheres.

The same document also shows that, in general, UNDP should strengthen its participation in the promotion of human rights and gender, mainly in supporting the implementation of actions aimed at raising awareness within the scope of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms that respect these areas. This energetic participation recommended to UNDP is justified for two reasons: the first is that community leaders resolve most conflicts based on customary practices, which do not always respect human rights and women's rights. Second, because the majority of the population is unaware of the functioning of the formal legal system and is not predisposed to resort to it. Therefore, the agreements reached through mediation services are also not binding, which requires investments in activities that encourage the articulation between the formal and informal justice systems, in order to strengthen the alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.

The need to reinforce the quality of the services provided is crucial, especially the services provided to women, who are victims of gender-based violence, as well as discrimination in a sector such as male-dominated justice. Consequently, the percentage of women using access to justice services did not exceed 30% (ROAR, 2019), being significantly limited by cultural behavior and linguistic differences.

Investments in local governance and environmental protection must focus sufficiently on economic development and livelihoods, in particular to promote the empowerment of women. Therefore, the initial commitments to promote the economic development of women must be operationalized in specific projects to strengthen their capacities, taking advantage of market opportunities.

To improve gender mainstreaming in its Country Program Document for the period 2021-2025, UNDP intends to hire an international consultant to conduct an analysis of the gender situation in Guinea-Bissau, which will be a critical contribution in the process of preparing this document.

The main objective of the consultancy is to support the UNDP Office in the country to develop an objective analysis of the gender situation in Guinea-Bissau, identifying factors that limit its progress and those that can drive a positive change in the promotion of gender equality. On the other hand, it intends to provide an in-depth view of the gender situation, focusing on innovative approaches capable of stimulating gender mainstreaming and women's empowerment in the program.

The results of this study will be used by UNDP to programmatically address some of the challenges that prevent the creation of minimum conditions for the country to achieve gender equality in all dimensions, that is, to create employment opportunities for the most vulnerable population, to guarantee political participation of women in decision-making bodies, access to justice, land and preventing them from gender-based violence.

The results of the consultancy will also contribute to inform the process of formulating the UN Framework for Cooperation for Sustainable Development in Guinea-Bissau (UNSDCF).

Duties and Responsibilities

Guidance for carrying out the consultancy  

The study should  be carried out according to the following guidance notes:

  • Identify factors that engender gender inequality, such as ethnicity, religion, means of residence (residential environment /conditions), governance and socioeconomic status;
  • Identify potential areas in which UNDP, the Government and other development partners can contribute to promoting gender equality and women's empowerment;
  • Analyze the best practices for promoting gender equality that may be relevant for Guinea-Bissau and ensure that they are aligned with policy actions;
  • Inquire how the specific goals of Sustainable Development Goals 5 can serve as a catalyst for the entire 2030 agenda
  • Analyze the perspectives of gender inclusion in the goals related to the eradication of extreme poverty, economic growth and climate change;
  • Identify innovative solutions for gender inclusion that accelerate the path to inclusive and sustainable development.

Main issues to be addressed by the consultancy

The Guinean context is characterized on the one hand by a profound institutional weakness, a limited capacity of the State to create conditions to improve the means of subsistence, for the most vulnerable and marginalized. On the other hand, it is also characterized by ingrained gender socio-cultural practices, which often do not sympathize with human rights. Thus, given this reality, the document to be prepared should address the following issues:

  • What conditions are necessary to trigger substantial changes in terms of gender mainstreaming for development?
  • How can we strengthen policies, laws, reforms and other interventions to combat factors that perpetuate gender inequality?
  • What are the main factors that perpetuate gender inequality and how can they be eliminated?
  • Are there specific vulnerable groups that are most negatively affected?
  • What is the current and potential impact of currently existing and possibly future social protection programs?
  • What is needed in the education system and the health system to trigger positive changes?
  • How do these entry points relate to the overall programming of existing UNDP programs?
  • What are the anticipated risks and how can they be mitigated?
  • How can innovation and other modern tools identified by UNDP contribute to gender equality?
  • What political limits are there at the national and local level to achieve a more inclusive society?
  • What is the cost of gender inequality in the country's development?

Specific objectives of the consultancy

The specific objectives of this consultancy are as follows:

  • Provide an in-depth understanding of the gender situation in the country in economic, legal, social and environmental terms, mainly through statistical data obtained via studies, and existing research or other information collection tools; whenever possible, the results should include data disaggregated by sex, in order to facilitate the identification of gender inequality;
  • Identify and analyze the main barriers that prevent vulnerable groups, especially women from entering the market, finding / creating jobs and fully benefiting from existing opportunities and participating in politics and decision-making bodies and accessing justice. To do this, it is necessary to understand how gender inequalities affect women's ability to exploit existing economic and political opportunities and have access to justice;
  • Present proposals on how the country can reduce gender inequality, listing policy recommendations that can place gender equality at the center of national development planning;
  • Identify priority areas that can contribute to gender equality and women's empowerment;
  • Suggest a new range of analytical and mapping techniques, which can facilitate a holistic understanding of the gender situation;
  • Identify good practices related to the promotion of gender equality, preferably in West African countries, which can be adopted in the context of Guinea-Bissau;
  • Recommend how gender can be integrated into the process of implementing the new UNSDCF in Guinea-Bissau;
  • Recommend how UNDP can integrate gender and human rights into its new CPD;
  • Identify some immediate opportunities, capable of creating a culture of success, even if on a smaller scale, based on which to build greater victories over time, both for urban and rural areas;
  • Analyze concrete opportunities and challenges for UNDP programming in the economic sector, in order to create an environment that stimulates economic development and entrepreneurship with a view to generating employment, improving income and, ultimately, reducing poverty.


  • Strong communication capacity;
  • Excellent analytical and synthesis capacity;
  • Recognized ability to work in multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral teams.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master degree in gender studies, social sciences, development studies or equivalent. 


  • Mminimum experience of 10 years in gender and development studies, social science and related themes;
  • Previous engagement in facilitating and drafting Gender Strategic documents for the UN or UNDP is an asset;
  • Previous experience on issues related to country programme documents or UNSDCF;
  • Knowledge about the UNDP, including the UN reform, on rights-based approach, gender, environmental sustainability and capacity assessment an advantage;
  • Relevant working experience in Africa countries, with emphasis in PALOP is considered an added value.

Language requirement:

  • Fluent in English, Portuguese and/or French.

Required documents for application submission:

Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications:


  • Explaining why they are the most suitable for the work;
  • Provide a methodology on how they will approach and conduct the work.

Financial proposal

Personal CV including experience in similar projects and at least 3 references

  • Lump sum contracts

The financial proposal shall specify a total lump sum amount, and payment terms around specific and measurable (qualitative and quantitative) deliverables (i.e. whether payments fall in installments or upon completion of the entire contract). Payments are based upon output, i.e. upon delivery of the services specified in the TOR.  In order to assist the requesting unit in the comparison of financial proposals, the financial proposal will include a breakdown of this lump sum amount (including travel, per diems, and number of anticipated working days).

  • Contracts based on daily fee

The financial proposal will specify the daily fee, travel expenses and per diems quoted in separate line items, and payments are made to the Individual Consultant based on the number of days worked.


All envisaged travel costs must be included in the financial proposal. This includes all travel to join duty station/repatriation travel.  In general, UNDP should not accept travel costs exceeding those of an economy class ticket. Should the IC wish to travel on a higher class he/she should do so using their own resources.

In the case of unforeseeable travel, payment of travel costs including tickets, lodging and terminal expenses should be agreed upon, between the respective business unit and Individual Consultant, prior to travel and will be reimbursed.


Cumulative analysis

When using this weighted scoring method, the award of the contract should be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Responsive/compliant/acceptable, and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.

* Technical Criteria weight; 70%

* Financial Criteria weight; 30%

Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% point would be considered for the Financial Evaluation.

Evaluation criteria:

  • Criteria A: Professional experience - 40 points; 
  • Criteria B: Methodological approach including on the level of innovation/creativity of the proposal - 60 points.
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. UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.
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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