UN Women: Political Participation Intern, Leadership and Governance Section

Application Deadline :29-Mar-13 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Internship
Post Level :Intern
Languages Required :
Expected Duration of Assignment :3 - 6 months


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 (UNW) 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.

UN Women’s thematic clusters bring together specialists supporting the normative and operational aspects of UNW’s mandate. The Political Participation Team, within the Leadership and Political Participation Section, support UNW’s fulfillment of the priority to expand women’s voice, leadership and contribution to politics. Increasing women’s political participation in all forms of political engagement has long been a priority for UNW. Increasing the numbers of women in public office is essential to building inclusive democracy at national and local levels. UN WOMEN’s goal is to eliminate obstacles that prevent women from full participation in the political domain, and to facilitate the implementation of legislative and executive agendas on gender equality, meaning participation, human rights and social justice.

The work of the Intern will be linked to a number of global initiatives and knowledge products that UN WOMEN is supporting, to advance women’s political participation. The thematic focus of this assignment will include data collection on women’s participation at the local government level and financing of women candidates and in political life.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the overall supervision of the Political Participation Advisor, the Intern is expected to support the gathering of information and research support in women’s participation at the local government level and financing of women candidates.

Specifically, the interns are expected to undertake the following tasks:
  • Undertake a global mapping/desk review of available datasets and information on women’s political participation at the local level, including the proportion of women holding seats at the local level, assist with the identification of comparative levels of local governance;
  • Assist with the preparation of an expert meeting of practitioners and researchers in the field of women’s participation at the local level;
  • Collect information and undertake a desk review of laws related to political finance and women’s participation, and investigate other financial measures (like those adopted by political parties) that promote women’s participation in electoral processes. 
  • Provide support to other activities in the Women’s Political Participation area as required.


Corporate Competencies:
  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards;
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP;
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism;
  • Fulfills all obligations to gender sensitivity and zero tolerance for sexual harassment

Functional Competencies:
  • Strong organizational and research skills
  • Keen interest in inclusive participation issues and gender equality
  • Keen interest in the work of the UN, and of UN Women in particular, and have a personal commitment to UNW's goals and objectives and to the ideals of the UN Charter;
  • Have ability to successfully interact with individuals of different cultural backgrounds and beliefs.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Enrollment in a Master’s Degree (or equivalent) in Gender Studies, International Relations, Political Science, Development, or related field.

Language Requirements:

  • Strong written and oral communication skills in English. Knowledge of another UN working language is an advantage.
Duration and Location:
  • The interns are expected to start as soon as possible but no later than 15 April 2013 for a period of up to six months. The interns are expected to work at UNW HQ in New York on a full-time basis.
Important Details:
  • Successful applicants must show proof of health and life insurance for the period they are working with UNW
  • Interns are not financially remunerated by UNW
  • Interns must be enrolled in an academic programme throughout the internship period.

Learning Elements

  • Increased understanding of UN Women’s work and the UN system
  • Learning different aspects of political participation and leadership in an international environment
  • Increased knowledge of issues related to leadership and political participation
  • Meeting and networking with UN Women colleagues in other units
  • Working as a team member in a multicultural setting

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