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.

UN Women East & Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) maintains a large presence in the Eastern and Southern Africa region, covering 25 countries, with 12 Country Offices and a Programme Presence in Somalia. In accordance with the UN Women Strategic Note (2022-2025) and in support of global and regional commitments for advancing gender equality, UN Women works to advance social, economic, and political rights of women and girls, including the right to live free of all forms of violence and the right to meaningfully engage in all aspects of peace and security across the humanitarian, development and peace nexus.

Ending violence against women and girls (EVAWG) remains a priority area for UN Women in East and Southern Africa, as the most widespread violation of human rights. Regional prevalence estimates of women and girls' experiences of different forms of violence are often higher than global averages. For example, the WHO 2018 prevalence estimates show that 20% of ever-married/partnered women aged 15–49 in Sub-Saharan Africa have experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence (IPV) in the past 12 months, the highest compared to other regions, while 33% have experienced violence in their lifetime, which is higher than the global estimates of 27%. The ESARO also focuses on women and girls in their diversity, with attention to marginalized, excluded, and underrepresented groups, including, but not limited to rural women, women with disabilities, women living with or affected by HIV, women survivors of violence, women migrants, widows, elderly women among others.

The Eastern and Southern region is characterized by inter-state conflict and political tensions, in which conflict in one country is linked to political undercurrents in another. In most countries of the region, legacies of longstanding mistrust have bred internal strife, especially in the border regions. This has generated severe humanitarian needs, which habitually spill over national boundaries and exacerbate or foment new conflicts and tensions. Terrorism and violent extremism have become a feature of the sub-region, and the emergence of groups such as Al-Shabaab and ISIS. This is all happening against a backdrop of wider social marginalization, poverty, inequality, high youth unemployment, resource-based tensions, and climate change. This situation is exacerbated by large scale displacement and high numbers of refugees and internally displaced people within the region.  

UN Women’s East and Southern Africa (ESARO) programming on Women, Peace and Security is focused on providing technical support and capacity building to Member States, civil society and regional organizations to enable women and girls to contribute to and have greater influence in preventing conflict and building sustainable peace. UN Women ESARO support Member States, Regional Economic Commissions and UN entities in implementing their commitments on advancing the Women, Peace and Security agenda, by facilitating coordination across sectors, and support the development and implementation of National Action Plans on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security and respond to new emerging threats. 

UN Women East and Southern Africa is working to improve the impact of existing programming in the region, with particular attention to enhancing investments in prevention of VAWG and protection from violence across the humanitarian-development-peace nexus. This will focus on strengthening capacities of regional actors on effective approaches for the prevention and response to violence against women and girls (VAWG), improving access to evidence and facilitating learning of what works and enhancing the role of social influencers and non-traditional gender equality advocates for transforming social norms in favour of gender equality. This requires deepening investments in collaborative partnerships working across multi-level and multi-sectoral programming for EVAWG across Africa.

UN Women ESARO seeks to hire an intern to support the EVAW and Women, Peace and Security portfolios in these efforts, working under the direct supervision of the EVAW Policy Specialist/ WPS Policy Specialist and in collaboration with country offices and regional partners in East and Southern Africa.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Support the EVAW/WPS Units to review/conduct research and analysis on regional policy frameworks related to EVAW and WPS to identify linkages and complementary aspects across the frameworks;
  • Support the Policy Specialists to develop integrated regional analysis on key regional trends, emerging issues, risks and opportunities in relation to EVAW/WPS;
  • Support the EVAW/WPS Units in conducting a mapping of promising practices for protecting diverse women human rights defenders from violence and threats of violence in East and Southern Africa;
  • Support the EVAW/WPS Units in developing a proposed approach to monitoring backlash against gender equality and women's rights advocates and changes in civic space in the region, drawing upon existing indices and monitoring tools, as well as early warning and response systems for enhanced visibility and data-based advocacy to advance gender equality in ESAR;
  • Support the EVAW/WPS Units to package and present the analysis and mapping conducted to stakeholders (internal UN Women personnel, regional State and non-state actors and development partners);
  • Support the EVAW/WPS Units in preparing advocacy messages and briefs related to the analysis, mapping and reviews conducted for sharing with diverse partners and amplifying during the WPS Open Days and the 16 Days Campaign in East and Southern Africa, including via preparing and consulting on advocacy messages, consolidating secondary data, drafting concept notes, coordinating meetings, preparing talking points, drafting text for articles, developing communication plans, etc.

Learning goals include:

  • Enhanced knowledge on gender equality, ending violence against women and girls and the women, peace and security agenda;
  • Enhanced knowledge on evidence-based approaches for EVAWG across the HDP Nexus;
  • Enhance knowledge on the analyzing and packaging data for advocacy and uptake by diverse stakeholders working on EVAW and WPS.


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:

  • Demonstrable knowledge of ending violence against women;
  • Demonstrable experience working on advocacy for gender equality in Africa, preferably in East and Southern Africa.

Required Skills and Experience


  • University studies in one of the following disciplines: gender studies, gender and development, international relations, peace studies, social work or or other relevant subjects is required related field;
  • Be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher).
  • Be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (minimum Bachelor’s level or equivalent);
  • Have graduated with a university degree in (as defined in (a) and (b) above) and, if selected, must start the internship within one-year of graduation;
  • Be enrolled in a postgraduate professional traineeship program and undertake the internship as part of this program.


  • Excellent communication skills (written and oral) in English are required;
  • Working knowledge of another UN language is an advantage.


  • Please note that applications without a completed and signed UN Women P-11 form will be treated as incomplete and will not be considered for further assessment. UN Women Personal History form (P-11) can be downloaded from
  • Due to the high volume of applications received, we can ONLY contact successful candidates.
  • Successful candidate will be required to provide proof of enrollment in a valid health insurance plan at the duty station of the internship, proof of school enrollment or degree, a scanned copy of their passport/national ID and a copy of a valid visa (as applicable).  

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.

Diversity and inclusion:

At UN Women, we are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. UN Women recruits, employs, 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.