International Consultant for conducting scoping study and gender responsive review of existing laws, policies, and practices for women’s economic empowerment in Bangladesh.

Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Dhaka, BANGLADESH
Application Deadline :26-Sep-21 (Midnight New York, USA)
Additional Category :Gender Equality
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
Duration of Initial Contract :30 Days spread between October and January 2022

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.


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 leads and coordinates United Nations System efforts to ensure that commitments on gender equality and gender mainstreaming translate into action throughout the world. It has been providing strong and coherent leadership in support of Member States’ priorities and efforts, building effective partnerships with civil society and other relevant actors. 

The national plan of the Government of Bangladesh recognizes that women’s economic empowerment is one of the key goals to achieve the agenda 2030. In Sep 2020, the Honorable Prime Minister pledged to achieve gender parity in the labour force by 2041. In 2016, the UN Secretary General convened a High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment to drive poverty eradication, inclusive economic growth and gender equality.  
Despite the strong policy frameworks and commitments, women remain marginalized and deeply undervalued in social and economic life, resulting in lower participation in the formal economy, lower wages, lower economic resilience, and autonomy, and vulnerablility to highly gendered risks of exploitation. Their contribution to economy has not been translated into inclusive and equitable growth, and their labour force participation has not been increased as expected, instead their concentration increased in informal employment. The female labour force participation rate is 36.3% compared to 81.4%  for males; the ratio of women to men is 1:3  in wage employment. Most of women are in the informal sector including temporary employment such as day laborers and in unpaid family businesses, along with unpaid care and domestic work burden.    

In Bangladesh, women comprise of around 60%  of RMG workers, and 30%  of leather footwear and textile manufacturing workforce, and more than 50% of tea garden workers are female. Despite having higher concentration of women workers in the RMG and textile sectors, women’s contributions in many aspects to the economy are often overlooked. Furthermore, in rural areas, women often work as unpaid family workers, adding value to agricultural products through sorting, packing, and processing and as low-paid home-based workers. This unpaid labour is not recognized as economic gains to families and communities, therefore itdoes not effectively translate into women’s economic empowerment. Women domestic workers are also catalytic for broader economic empowerment of women. By performing domestic and care work, employers of women domestic workers can spend more time working, running businesses and engaging productively in social and economic life. Further, women domestic workers perform essential services by caring for children, the elderly, people with illnesses and people with disabilities. 

Bangladesh is a significant country of origin, with an estimated 13 million migrants in 151 countries worldwide. Remittances from more than 13 million citizens abroad are very important for Bangladesh. Overseas employment is the country’s second-largest source of income, with remittances amounting to $21.75 billion in 2020. Between 1976 and 2020, an estimated 13 million migrated from Bangladesh to take up employment in foreign countries. About 924,415 women migrated from 1991 to 2020 from Bangladesh to different countries .
Majority of Bangladeshi female migrant workers are employed as domestic workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. They are often exposed to high levels of exploitation, violence, and abuse by their employer and upon return to home. According to an ILO needs assessment study conducted recently, while 66.4% of the returnee migrants surveyed returned empty handed, for female migrants the percentage was much higher at 93%. The returning migrants also do not have social protection and have limited knowledge about and access to alternative livelihoods opportunities.

Due to COVID 19 pandemic, in addition to the huge jobs and income loss, women are more likely than ever to be employed. Nonetheless, it is necessary to note that they are more likely than men to be employed in low-skilled, low waged jobs with limited or no labour law coverage, social protection and employment contracts. At the same time more women than men are losing their paid jobs in the formal sector. Previous crises have shown that when women lose their jobs in greater numbers, traditional gender roles tend to be reinforced, and this is already happening in the present crisis. Further, following to the COVID-19 pandemic, many more people, both women and men, are required to work from home due to lockdowns and movement restriction. These have also resulted in an increase in unpaid care and domestic burden borne by women.

With low level of literacy, skills and training, combined with gendered social norms, and direct and indirect discrimination in laws and workplace practices for women, there are structural barriers for women to realize their right to decent work. This is compounded by a lack of gender-disaggregated data and evidence to inform policy improvements. As a result, women are less represented in the formal employment, over-represented in low-paid informal employment as well as in unpaid care work; and at higher risk of labour exploitation and trafficking. Women’s economic contributions are not being translated effectively into increased social and economic equality. Ensuring effective protections for women workers requires integrating their voices into labour policies, labour market planning and workplace practices and support services. This in turn is essential to realizing women’s full social and economic equality in Bangladesh.

In line with Prime Minister’s pledge to achieve gender parity in labour force by 2041, a comprehensive national strategy on Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) is highly required to achieve gender parity in labour force participation. Taking into consideration the policy frameworks to promote inclusive growth, and such strategy should also address the issues in minimizing the gender gaps in employment, income and in ensuring the decent working conditions for both women and men. Along with supply-side issues for women’s labour force participation, there are equal needs for demand-side policies that stimulate employment and address other sectoral policies to contribute to the women’s economic empowerment of Bangladesh.


Overall Purpose and Specific Objectives:

To provide substantial technical lead on conducting a scoping study and a gender responsive review of existing laws, policies, and practices to draw recommendations that contribute to  the development of  an inclusive  national strategy for the Women’s Economic Empowerment in Bangladesh.

Duties and Responsibilities

- To conduct an assessment to provide an overview of the available policies, evidence, and practices to enhance women’s economic advancement in Bangladesh.

- To map out the existing key stakeholders engaged at public, private and civil society sphere, who are critical for economic advancement of women in Bangladesh 

- To provide inputs for developing a gender responsive framework for streamlining all relevant policies, and laws for the decent employment of women and youth girls in public and private sectors.

- To analyze and synthesize the findings to devise policy recommendations and practical steps for achieving gender parity in the economic participation, access to economic resources and   equal benefits from all economic sectors.


Scope of Work and main responsibilities: 

Under the direct supervision of the Women’s Economic Empowerment Programme Analyst of UN Women Bangladesh and strategic guidance from Head of Office, UN Women Bangladesh, the international consultant will work in close collaboration with UN Women and  ILO  technical team throughout the assignment. 


The scope of work will include:

• Conduct an in depth desk review to (i) map and assess the relevance and gaps in existing policies, plans, programmes, and interventions of public, private, and non-governmental organizations for women’s economic empowerment in Bangladesh, and (ii) to identify relevant national and international best practices that are replicable in the Bangladesh context.  

• Identify and analyze inconsistencies and gaps in the relevant legislation and policies, particularly gaps and provisions in relation to international standards such as ILO conventions and other relevant human rights instruments, as well as national laws. 

• Organize and conduct key informant interviews with relevant stakeholders to triangulate the desk review findings on gaps, good practices, and entry points in terms of policy and practice in Bangladesh, for advocacy and programming.  

• Analyse gender implications of key sectoral (economic) policies/strategies or instruments that are in place and develop a roadmap  for UN Women in supporting the development of a national strategy for the economic empowerment of women, including making linkages with national and global gender equality objectives and commitments.

• Based on the findings of assessment and mapping, work in a team of UN Women and ILO to develop tool, and methodology for the development of robust national strategy for the economic empowerment of women, and share it to key stakeholders (government, private sector and civil society organizations (CSOs), Women’s rights organizations) for their inputs and endorsement. This specific task will enhance the UN Women’s positioning in the “National Employment Summit” to be organized by ILO in December 2021.

• Provide substantial technical support to expedite UN Women’s participation in the National Employment Summit (by developing concept note, power point and technical notes/ brief, etc).

• Prepare a final report (an analytical and comprehensive final report not exceeding 30 pages) to contribute to development of comprehensive national strategy on women’s economic empowerment in Bangladesh.


Expected Deliverables


Tasks and Deliverables

 Working days

Target dates

Percentage of Payment


Prepare methodology and workplan for the review.


Deliverables: Inception report with workplan

 2 days

 By 20 October 2021






60% of the payment shall be paid upon submission of deliverables 1 to 3 and all acceptance and certified by the UN Women contract administrator


Desk review and key informant interviews with relevant stakeholders and mapping.

Deliverables:   1st draft of report

  10 days

 By 10 November 2021




Analyses of sectoral policies to develop a roadmap for UN Women Bangladesh to support the development of the national strategy for women’s economic empowerment.


Deliverables:  Final draft of report with Analytical framework/ tool

 6 days

 By 30 November, 2021


Technical support (Drafting a Concept Note, technical brief, presentation), to prepare for the “National Employment Summit”.

Deliverable: Concept note, technical brief, power point etc.

 7 days




 By 15 December 2021



40% of the payment shall be paid upon submission of deliverables 4 to 5 and all acceptance and certified by the UN Women contract administrator


 Prepare a final report (an analytical and comprehensive final report not exceeding 30 pages).


Deliverables: Final report

 5 days

 By 10 January 2022


Total Days

 30 days




Contract period and work location

The International Consultant will be home based but she or he might have travel to Dhaka, Bangladesh and work at the UN Women Office if required. (The working modality will be determined based on COVID-19 situation and UN protocol and Government rules and regulation.)  Travel costs and Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) for authorized travel outside of Dhaka, Bangladesh will be provided, if required.


Duration of assignment:       

15 October 2021 to 10 January 2022 (30 working days)


Supervision and performance evaluation:

The International Consultant will be work under the direct supervision of the Programme Analyst, Women’s Economic Empowerment, UN Women Bangladesh


Travel and DSA:

If needed (subject to COVID-19 protocol for movement). (The working modality will be determined based on COVID-19 situation and UN protocol and Government rules and regulation.)  Travel costs and Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) for authorized travel outside of Dhaka, Bangladesh will be provided, if required.




Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards.
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UN Women
  • 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:

  • Ability to pragmatically apply in-depth knowledge and experience of issues and practices in the fields of women's rights and gender equality in Bangladesh.
  • Strong communications skills, and experience in facilitating high level session with Government, Civil Society Organizations, and private sector.
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude; Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities.  

Required Skills and Experience


  • Minimum Master’s degree in Economics, Law, Development Studies, Public Policy and Governance, or other Social Science related subjec.



  • Proven experience in conducting studies, research, assessment, summarizing advocacy points/recommendations on socio- economic issues from a gender perspective.
  • Minimum 07 years of experience or proven track record in working on macroeconomic issues (such as Women’s Labour Force Participation, Care  and informal economic sector  etc. ) particularly with the public and private sector.
  • Minimum 05 years of experience or proven track record in developing strategies and / or policies, tools, and instruments from gender perspectives.


Additional Capacity:

  • Previous strong record on writing research report at UN standard level.
  • Working experience with Government and other key stakeholders in South Asia is an asset.
  • Strong background to deliver the planned results in a professional manner, and to ensure the quality of the product.


Language Requirement

Excellent Proficiency in written and spoken English is required.


Price Proposal and Schedule of Payments

Consultant must send a financial proposal based on Lump Sum Amount. The total amount quoted shall be all-inclusive and include all
costs components required to perform the deliverables identified in the TOR, including professional fee, only  and any other applicable cost to be incurred by the SSA in completing the assignment.
The contract price will be fixed output-based price regardless of extension of the herein specified duration. Payments will be done upon
completion of the deliverables/outputs and as per below percentages


Evaluation Method and Criteria:
Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodology.

Cumulative analysis-

The award of the contract will be made to the individual consultant up on Cumulative Analysis/evaluation and determined as:
1. Responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
2. Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical and financial criteria specific to the
Only candidates obtaining a minimum 70 mark in technical evaluation will be considered eligible for financial evaluation.
Technical Criteria for Evaluation (Maximum 49 points out of 70)

Criteria-01; Educational Qualification- Max Point 10

Criteria-02; Proven experience on research, assessment on socio-economic issues from a gender perspective.- Max Point 15

Criteria-03; Number of years’ experience or proven track record on macroeconomic issues (such as Women’s Labour Force Participation, Care and informal economic sector etc.) with public and private sectors.- Max Point 20

Criteria-04; Number of years’ experience or proven track record in developing strategies and / or policies, tools, and instruments from gender perspectives.- Max Point 15

Criteria-05; Strong record on writing research report at UN standard level - Max Point 10

The total number of points allocated for the technical qualification component is 70. The technical qualification of the individual is evaluated based on following technical qualification evaluation criteria:

Only the candidates who have attained a minimum of 70% of total points (49) will be considered as technically-qualified candidate.

Interested candidates will submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications.

To be included as part of the proposal:

  • Updated CV
  • Personal History Form (P11)
  • Writing of similar work sample
  • Financial proposal
  • *The financial proposal should include: Daily rate of consultant for USD for 30 working days.  No need to quote for travel. If required UN Women will cover following their policy travel.    

Only applications including all items mentioned above will be considered.

NOTE: Documents required before contract signing:

UN Personal History Form;
Full medical examination and Statement of Fitness to work and travel for consultants with travel involved. (This is not a requirement for RLA contracts);
Security Certificate BSAFE: EN:
Individual subscribers over 65 years of age are required to undergo a full medical examination including x-rays at their own cost and obtaining medical clearance from the UN Medical Director prior to taking up their assignment;
Release letter in case the selected consultant is government official.
Only applications will all items mentioned above will be considered

Note: The individual consultant who does not meet the above eligibility criteria shall not be considered for further evaluation. Necessary documentation must be submitted to substantiate the above eligibility criteria


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