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 center 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 provides strong and coherent leadership in support of Member States’ priorities and efforts, building effective partnerships with civil society and other relevant actors.

Afghanistan is one of the world’s most complex emergencies, and the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. Afghan people are grappling with the impact of conflict, poverty, economic decline, and natural disasters. In this context, Afghan women and girls face unique vulnerabilities and require urgent support as gender inequality is interwoven with conflict dynamics and humanitarian needs. It is essential that Afghan women and girls can continue to shape the development of their country, and that their gains are protected. UN Women remains fully committed to supporting Afghan women and girls and to putting them at the center of the global response to the crisis in Afghanistan.

UN Women has been in Afghanistan for two decades. UN Women’s programming approach is informed by analysis of the political, economic and humanitarian situation, risks to and capacities of partner organizations, and needs of Afghan women and girls. UN Women Afghanistan currently has four key programme priorities: (1) Gender in Humanitarian Action, (2) Ending Violence Against Women, (3) Women’s Economic Empowerment, and (4) Women, Peace and Security.

Objective of the Assignment:

The main objective of the assignment is to identify what the current state of laws, policies, and practices are across key gender issues in Afghanistan. This entails conducting legal and political analysis due to the absence of legal frameworks currently existing in Afghanistan, focusing on the timeframe of 15 August 2021 to now. The consultant will conduct analysis of policies, decrees, and institutionalized practices to provide an outline of the de facto legal and policy frameworks on key issues related to women’s rights and gender equality: gender-based violence, health (inclusive of sexual reproductive health and rights), economic and social rights, political participation, governance and leadership, WPS, climate change, and digitalisation.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under the direct supervision of the WPS Programme Manager, the consultant will be responsible to deliver a report analyzing the legal and political status on gender equality issues current in Afghanistan broadly, as well as provisions related to key gender issues – GBV, health, economic and social rights, political participation and leadership, WPS, climate change, and digitalisation. The consultant is expected to (1) deliver a desk review and initial analysis of the implementation of edicts and decrees related to gender equality; (2) draft a stand-alone report, as per below, and (3) draft inputs (based on the report) for other research and knowledge products – including a Gender Country Profile and flagship report on status of women and girls.

The desk review should cover:

  • Review of current legislative and institutional gender equality frameworks, particularly focused on the current edicts and decrees related to gender equality;
  • Evidence of implementation of decrees in practice;
  • Analysis of Taliban logic vis-à-vis their approach to these decrees;

The report should cover:

  • a brief overview of the status of Afghanistan’s pre-existing (prior to August 2021) international treaties and obligations related to gender equality, national legal frameworks, and state bodies and institutions;
  • an outline of the current DFA decrees, orders, edicts, guidelines, instructions and policies impacting women and girls – including analysis of the jurisprudence and logic/rationale/justification that underpins them;
  • analysis of practices related to gender equality which have arguably been institutionalised (in lieu of official legal frameworks) at provincial and national levels;
  • analysis of Taliban’s vision of governance, particularly as it relates to the roles of women and girls, gender equality and women’s rights;
  • analysis of prosecutions of violations of women’s rights and women’s access to justice;

Key research questions will be reviewed and determined collaboratively between the consultant and WPS Programme Manager. Potential questions could include:

International and national legal frameworks

  • Which international treaties related to gender equality does Afghanistan have obligations under?
    • Currently in practice, are any of these being either (a) implemented; or (b) systematically contravened?
  • What national legal frameworks related to gender equality existed under the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (e.g. employment, representation rights, voting rights, property rights, inheritance rights, finance opportunities, rights to divorce and child custody, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), etc.)?
    • Did these laws impact women and men differently?
    • Currently in practice, are any of these are being either (a) implemented; or (b) systematically contravened?

Gender equality infrastructure

  • Which bodies or institutional frameworks existed under the Republic around gender equality?
    • What is the current status of these bodies and frameworks?
  • What gender equality strategies existed under the Republic?
    • What is their current status?

Policies, decrees, and practices

  • What DFA decrees and policies currently exist related to women’s rights gender equality?
  • What is the jurisprudence and political logic that underpins these decrees?
  • What practices are being carried out in relation to gender equality that have not been formally publicised but have de facto become institutionalised or systematised in different parts of Afghanistan?


  • How does the Taliban’s system of governance and administration see the following themes:
    • Role of women and girls in society – including governance and public participation
    • Women’s rights
    • Gender equality

Justice (formal/informal)

  • Which violations of women’s rights are and are not being prosecuted?
  • What access to justice do women currently have?

Expected deliverables and target dates


Target date

(1) desk review and analysis of edicts and decrees related to gender equality and key informants (as needed) to inform Gender Country Profile (approx. 2 pages);

22 October (first draft for review)

8 November 2023 (final draft)

(2) stand-alone report, covering five thematic areas (approx. 10 pages);

31 January 2024

(3) inputs for other knowledge products and research projects (including review of research design, peer review of knowledge products, etc.).

Ongoing through life of contract


Core Values

  • Respect for Diversity
  • Integrity
  • Professionalism

Core Competencies

  • Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues
  • Accountability
  • Creative Problem Solving
  • Effective Communication
  • Inclusive Collaboration
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Leading by Example

Please visit this link for more information on UN Women’s Core Values and Competencies:

Functional Competencies

  • Excellent knowledge of the Afghan context post August 2021
  • Experience undertaking research projects related to legal, political and gender issues in Afghanistan
  • Solid gender sensitive research and data analysis skills to identify key trends and emerging topics
  • Ability to work independently and deliver quality results within tight deadlines

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master's degree in a relevant field such as political science, development, law, or a related field.
  • Bachelor’s degree in the above disciplines with two years of additional relevant experience may be considered in lieu of a master’s degree.


  • At least 5 years of relevant work experience as an analyst or researcher.
  • Demonstrable experience working in Afghanistan.
  • Experience leading and undertaking research projects related to legal, political and gender issues in Afghanistan.
  • Solid gender sensitive research and data analysis skills to identify key trends and emerging topics.
  • Previous relevant experience with UN Agencies, international organisations or donors would be a strong advantage.

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in written and spoken English is required.
  • Knowledge of Dari and/or Pashto is an asset.

Other Information:

  • Payment will be made in instalments using the daily fee rate and will be based on the actual number of work days completed for each specific assignment (numbers of days for each deliverable will be agreed in advance with UN Women Afghanistan).
  • Each payment is subject to timely submission and acceptance by UN Women Afghanistan Country Office of the respective deliverables in the required quality.
  • The Chart of Accounts (COAs) to be charged will be provided by the business units/COs utilizing the services for each individual assignment under this contract.

Evaluation Criteria:

Individual consultants will be evaluated based on the following methodology: Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 49 points in the technical evaluation would be considered for the financial evaluation.

Criteria Weight Technical: 70% (70 points)

  • Criteria 1:  Education and experience (master's degree in a relevant field such as political science, development, law, or a related field, and at least 5 years of relevant work experience) (15 points)
  • Criteria 2: Demonstrable experience working in Afghanistan post-August 2021, ideally at the provincial level (20 points)
  • Criteria 3: Experience undertaking research projects related to legal, political and gender issues in Afghanistan, ideally in Dari and/or Pashto (20 points)
  • Criteria 4: Previous relevant experience with UN Agencies, international organisations or donors (15 points)

Financial: Lowest Financial Proposal: 30% (30 points)

The points for the Financial Proposal will be allocated as per the following formula:

  • Contract will be awarded to the technically qualified consultant who obtains the highest combined score (financial and technical);
  • The points for the Financial Proposal will be allocated as per the following formula: (Lowest Bid Offered*)/ (Bid of the Consultant) x 30;
  • 'Lowest Bid Offered' refers to the lowest price offered by Offerors scoring at least 49 points in the technical evaluation;



In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality, and the Empowerment of Women. The creation of UN Women came about as part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact. It merges and builds on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system (DAW, OSAGI, INSTRAW, and UNIFEM), which focused exclusively on gender equality and women's empowerment.

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