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.

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. Since the takeover by Taliban in August 2021, Afghanistan has witnessed a progressive erasure of women’s rights and freedoms, through both formal and informal edicts, messages and practices. The 24 December 2022 edict banning Afghan women from NGOs and INGOs and the escalation of the ban in April 2023 to Afghan women working with the UN has further amplified this restricted space from women and women CSOs creating operational conditions of uncertainty. 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. In the evolving context UN Women continues to reconfigure and adapt its programming to be responsive to ensure the full spectrum of rights of Afghan women and girls are met.

UN Women’s programming approach in Afghanistan 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 five key programme priorities: (1) Gender in Humanitarian Action, (2) Ending Violence Against Women, (3) Women’s Economic Empowerment, and (4) Women, Peace and Security. Given the operational context in country, UN Women has scaled up and strengthened its 5 Sub-Offices located in the provinces Balkh, Bamyan, Herat, Kandahar and Nangarhar to ensure a more localized approach to its programming.

The structure for the sub offices has been expanded since they were first established in 2021. At present comprising of a Head of Sub office, a Programme Coordinator, an Operational Associate, a Local security Analyst and a Driver each. The five Sub-Offices are central to operationalizing UN Women’s triple mandate at a localized context. They have a representational function, lead and support program implementation, and convene and coordinate UN partners at the regional/provincial levels. Sub-Offices are fostering stakeholder engagement and partnership building at provincial level, including with Civil Society, UN and other humanitarian and development partner, and are providing support to the roll-out of gender analysis and key advocacy and communications activities to ensure their reach beyond Kabul. The selected Sub-Offices are strategically situated to enable co-location with other UN agencies and the deepening of operational and programmatic synergies.

Reporting to the UN Women Afghanistan Deputy Country Representative (Programmes) and working closely with the Operations, Programmes, communications and cross cutting support units, the Head of Sub-Office represents UN Women Afghanistan at the sub-national level and is responsible for leading engagements with de facto authorities, manage partnerships, support and coordinate programming and operational oversight and convene/participate in UN systemwide coordination mechanisms at the local level. 

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Manage programme coordination and oversee programme implementation in the geographic area of responsibility of the Sub-Office
  • In close coordination with the UN Women Country Office Programme Managers, provide leadership to efficient implementation of programme and project activities and the timely delivery of results against agreed upon work plans
  • Working closely with the programme leads and management support units, contribute to and participate in programme development, planning implementation and reporting requirements
  • Identify programming opportunities based on urgent and emerging needs on the ground, and based on discussion with thematic leads, lead the development and management of these priority initiatives
  • Based on local assessments and operating conditions, provide substantive recommendations for the adaptation of programme and project activities as necessary
  • Lead emergency assessments and implement emergency response action plans when required
  • Coordinate and support programme and project monitoring against agreed upon results frameworks and performance indicators and prepare technical monitoring reports, as necessary and in close coordination with programmes and programme management support unit;
  • Facilitate discussion with programme teams and relevant units and partners with the aim of ensuring coherence and convergences of overall programmatic footprint
  • Ensure effective internal communication and coordination at Sub-Office level and effective and proactive communication between relevant Country Office units (both programme and operations) and the Sub-Office;
  • Coordinate and support programmatic missions from the Country Office to the Sub-Office.

      2. Represent UN Women at the sub-national level and develop and manage UN Women’s strategic partnerships and stakeholder engagement     

  • Manage and coordinate relationships with key counter parts, especially representatives from women’s civil society, and provide technical inputs to efforts at the country level to develop new and innovative partnerships.
  • Represent UN Women in regional and local coordination mechanisms such as the Regional Humanitarian Team, Operational Country Team, Area Security Team etc
  • Convene and coordinate the sub national level GiHA WG and ensure participation in other relevant humanitarian coordination mechanisms.
  • Lead engagements with the de facto authorities in line with the agreed UN guidance, with the aim of to ensure operational access for UN Women and its partners to affective deliver for women and girls.
  • Maintain collaboration and coordination with other UN and humanitarian and basic human needs partners to ensure programmatic integration and sharing of best practices
  • Establish effective communication channels with and ensures that stakeholders (humanitarian and basic human needs partners, bilateral and multilateral donors, private sector, civil society, UN agencies, and other) have a consistent UN Women counterpart at the sub-national level.

       3. Lead technical support and capacity development to civil society partners.

  • Provide substantive technical support to partners in regard to programme planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
  • Provide partners with training, and capacity development initiatives as needed.
  • In close consultation with the Programme Managers, lead and support identification of partners in the geographic area of responsibility.
  • Build relationships with local partners to support implementation and expansion of the country programme.
  • Respond to any potential bottlenecks and challenges and provide guidance on mitigation actions.
  • Manage capacity building opportunities and initiatives for key partners and stakeholders.

      4. Provide region-specific advice, analysis, and support to support evidence-based programming and communication in the  geographic area of responsibility of the Sub-Office           

  • Provide periodic analysis of local socio-economic, political and security situations and trends as related to the situation of women and girls.
  • Identify programming, advocacy and communications opportunities and entry points for UN Women and advise the UN Women Afghanistan Country Office on policies, programmes and strategies to adequately respond to local challenges and needs regarding gender equality and women’s empowerment.
  • Monitor the perception of UN Women at the local level and suggest and ensure that UN Women programming objectives and local programming results are effectively communicated in collaboration with the Communications Unit in the Country Office.
  • Contribute and coordinate the development of knowledge products and mechanisms to effectively position UN Women in the region.
  • Contribute to strategic planning processes for the UN Women programme in Afghanistan.

       5. Manage Sub-Office staff and financial resources

  • Ensure smooth running of the Sub-Office, promote teamwork and an environment that is conducive to delivering results.
  • Ensure full responsibility for the appropriate use and management of resources attributed to the Sub-Office by tracking use of financial resources, ensuring the integrity of financial systems and consistent application of the Internal Control Framework and/or rules and regulations.
  • In collaboration with the Security Team, ensure that the security needs of office and programmes are met.
  • Mitigate possible risks and impacts associated with the Sub-Office programmes and operations by proactively designing and implementing mitigating measures in collaboration with the Deputy Country Representatives and Security Specialist.
  • Supervise and coach staff and manage performance.
  • Write terms of reference for new staff, consultants and contractors and oversee the recruitment process, as necessary.



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

  • Strong programme management, implementation, monitoring and evaluation skills
  • Strong knowledge of Results Based Management
  • Strong budget and finance skills
  • Ability to synthesize program performance data and produce analytical reports to inform management and strategic decision-making
  • Strong knowledge of gender equality and women's empowerment
  • Strong knowledge of country and/or region
  • Ability to identify and analyze trends, opportunities and threats to fundraising and develop strategies


Required Skills and Experience

Education and Certification:

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in social sciences, human rights, gender/ women’s studies, international development, or a related field is required;
  • A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree;
  • A project/programme management certification (such as PMP®, PRINCE2®, or MSP®) would be an added advantage;


  • At least 5 years of progressively responsible experience at the national and/or international level in management, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of humanitarian or development projects;
  • Experience in working on gender equality programming in a humanitarian setting;
  • Experience in establishing relationships among and working with international organizations, civil society organizations and local stakeholders;
  • Experience in leading a team is an asset;
  • Experience in administrative systems and UN system norms is an asset;
  • Experience in country and/or region is an asset;
  • Experience in working independently with minimal supervision.


  • Fluency in English is required;
  • Knowledge of Dari and/or Pashto will be an asset;




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.

Inclusion Statement:

At UN Women, we are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. UN Women recruits employ, trains, compensates and promotes regardless of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, ability, national origin, or any other basis covered by appropriate law. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, competence, integrity, and organizational need.

If you need any reasonable accommodation to support your participation in the recruitment and selection process, please include this information in your application.

UN Women has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UN Women, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority, and discrimination. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to UN Women’s policies and procedures and the standards of conduct expected of UN Women personnel and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. (Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.)