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International Consultant for conducting a scoping study and review of existing laws, policies, and practices from gender lens for women’s economic empowerment (WEE) in Bangladesh
|Advertised on behalf of :|
|Location :||Home based, BANGLADESH|
|Application Deadline :||12-Oct-21 (Midnight New York, USA)|
|Additional Category :||Gender Equality|
|Type of Contract :||Individual Contract|
|Post Level :||International Consultant|
|Languages Required :||English|
|Starting Date :|
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
|Duration of Initial Contract :||25 October 2021 to 10 January 2022 (30 working days)|
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.
Gender equality and women’s empowerment are at the heart of the universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically in relation to women’s economic empowerment (WEE). This WEE agenda has evolved through further engagement with governments and other key stakeholders, such as during the 2017 United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment, the Group of 20 (G20) and the Group of 7 (G7) . The Leaders of G7 summit held in 2020, reinforced their commitment “to work to remove barriers to women’s participation and decision-making in social, economic and political spheres as well as to increase the opportunities for all to participate equally in all aspects of the labour market”. The G7 Leaders committed to promote women’s full economic participation through working to reduce the gender wage gap, supporting women business leaders and entrepreneurs and recognizing the value of unpaid care work.
COVID-19 has thrown the world into an unprecedented health, social and economic crisis, which is impacting all countries and societies directly or indirectly. Women workers, including women migrant workers of which there are 34 million in Asia and the Pacific, play a crucial role in services and labor-intensive manufacturing as well as in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and in the informal sector on which much of the formal sector depends . The impact of COVID-19 on women’s livelihoods have taken a major hit, that increasing care burden, disproportionate access to resources and social protection infrastructure and women’s limited influence on decision making in homes and communities. Women have lost their jobs and earnings at alarming rates. Globally, in 2019 and 2020, women lost more than 54 million jobs. Women, who already faced substantial disadvantages in access to jobs and incomes, have borne the brunt of the economic fallout of the pandemic. UN Women estimates that an additional 47 million women worldwide will be pushed into extreme poverty by 2021 and gender poverty gaps are expected to widen further, particularly among women and men of reproductive age. During pandemics women’s unpaid work in families and communities has increased. Across 45 countries surveyed as part of the UN Women Rapid Gender Assessments, women were more likely than men to report an increase in childcare responsibilities .
The COVID-19 outbreak is disproportionately affecting women workers in Bangladesh, particularly who are engaged in the informal sector of economy. In this context, it is critical to address the employment opportunities and alternative livelihood options for women in Bangladesh for the next 20 years. The economic empowerment of women is one of the key national agenda, as the national plan of the Government of Bangladesh recognizes that women’s economic empowerment is one of the key goals to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In September 2020, the Honorable Prime Minister of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, 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 vulnerability 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 of their concentration increased in informal employment. The Female Labour Force Participation (FLFP) 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, it does 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 the country. 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 .
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to the huge jobs and income loss, women are more likely than ever to be unemployed. 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 zero 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 the 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 lead on and provide substantial technical inputs in conducting a scoping study and review of existing laws, policies, and practices to draw recommendations that contribute to the development of an inclusive national strategy for women’s economic empowerment (WEE) in Bangladesh.
Duties and Responsibilities
Specific Objectives of the Task:
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.
The scoping study will explore the following but not limited to:
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.
In line with the above-mentioned guiding questions, the scope of work will include:
Contract period and work location
The International Consultant will be home based but she or he might have to travel to Dhaka, Bangladesh and work at the UN Women Office if required. (The working modality will be determined based on the COVID-19 situation and the UN protocol and the Government rules and regulations.) Travel costs and Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) for authorized travel outside of Dhaka, Bangladesh will be provided, if required.
Duration of assignment: 25 October 2021 to 10 January 2022 (30 working days)
Supervision and performance evaluation: The International Consultant will 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 the COVID-19 situation and the UN protocol and the Government rules and regulations.) Travel costs and Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) for authorized travel outside of Dhaka, Bangladesh will be provided, if required.
Required Skills and Experience
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
Evaluation Method and Criteria:
The award of the contract will be made to the individual consultant up on Cumulative Analysis/evaluation and determined as:
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:
Only applications including all items mentioned above will be considered.
NOTE: Documents required before contract signing:
UN Personal History Form;
 G7 Leaders Summit 2020: Background Paper on Themes of G7 Leaders Summits (2012-2019), https://www.empowerwomen.org/en
 Women as a force for accelerated and inclusive economic recovery post covid-19 in Asia and the Pacific, Action Brief, UN Women, https://www.empowerwomen.org/en
 Beyond covid-19: A feminist plan for sustainability and social justice, UN Women, 2021
 The High-Level Panel, comprised of experts from across business, government, and civil society, sets out key recommendations to address the structural challenges that impede women’s economic empowerment. These recommendations form the seven drivers of change and were selected because of their demonstrated impact in reducing gender gaps and improving economic outcomes for women. The High-Level Panel also recommends a multi-stakeholder engagement strategy to achieve women’s economic empowerment.
 Bangladesh women are under-represented in all hourly wages: ILO, bdnews24.com, 27 November 2018
 Proportion of females in informal non-agricultural employment was at 91.9% | Human Development Reports (undp.org)
 Understanding the gender composition and experience of ready-made Garment (RMG) workers in Bangladesh, ILO wcms_754669.pdf (ilo.org)
 Overseas employment of female workers (1991-2020), BMET http://www.old.bmet.gov.bd/BMET/viewStatReport.action?reportnumber=25
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