UN Women: Women's Economic Rights and Security (WERS) Specialist

Location : Kabul, AFGHANISTAN
Application Deadline :08-Oct-12 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :FTA International
Post Level :P-4
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :One Year


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.

UN Women is dedicated to advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment in Afghanistan. Staff and consultants of UN Women Afghanistan are expected to contribute to a professional working environment in which the strengthening of national capacities and human potential is prioritized. Respect for diversity and human dignity is required, as is the active pursuit of a collaborative and inclusive approach to both internal and external stakeholders, including colleagues and partners.

UN Women’s programme in Afghanistan has the main objective to build Afghan women’s capacity and leadership to enable them to effectively participate in the social, economic and political processes in the country. An extension to this mandate is UN Women’s duty to engage in research, advocacy and policy development activities. This not only helps to inform and strengthen the programmes, but also contributes to UN Women Afghanistan Country Office’s (CO) task of mainstreaming gender into government strategies, policies and laws.

Since 2010, UN Women has supported the preparation of a Strategy on Women’s Rights and Security, which aims to strengthen the various government-endorsed domestic and international rights frameworks that guarantee Afghan women a multitude of economic rights. The Strategy aligns with commitments of the Government of Afghanistan to aid effectiveness principles that call for the alignment of resources towards the implementation of national legal frameworks such as the National Action Plan for the Women of Afghanistan (NAPWA). 

The Strategy ensures an increased focus at the policy-making level through adequately addressing the structural barriers to women’s access to assets and economic security.   The implementation of the strategy aims to build the capacity of all relevant stakeholders to engage in the main goal of enhancing women’s economic rights and security via revising economic laws that discriminates against women.
Under the overall supervision of the UN Women Deputy Country Director, in consultation with the Country Director and reporting directly to the Cluster Manager, the Women’s Economic Rights and Security (WERS) Specialist serves as a technical advisor, providing strategic direction, partnership development, resource mobilization support, policy advice, and promotion of internal and external collaboration. The post serves as a key advisor to senior management on relevant policy and programming pertaining to CO’s mandate, Annual Work Plan and on matters of organizational integrity with the aim of ensuring: (i) compliance with UN Women policies and regulations; (ii) effective systems to support programme delivery and growth; (iii) accountability to organizational values and principles; and (iv) and enabling workplace environment in which staff potential is maximized

Duties and Responsibilities

Key Deliverables:

  • Strategic Direction
  • Resource Mobilization
  • Economic Policy Development
  • Program Design and delivery
  • Capacity building
  • Partnership and networking
Key Responsibilities:

Strategic Direction

  • Advise and support the CO on WESR programme direction; and to facilitate a workplace environment of mutual accountability, recognition, and respect.
  • Set priorities and work on the strategic direction of CO in WERS in close cooperation with the Cluster Manager, identifying opportunities for productive interventions in order for CO to meet its mandate.

Resource Mobilization

  • In consultation and coordination with senior management, proactively seek and respond to opportunities for resource mobilization for the implementation of the WERS programme, ensuring quality and timely reporting to donors.

Economic Policy Development

  • Advise senior management on the socio-economic and political development of rural women and the implications for achieving the government’s and UN Women’s commitments.
  • Participate in various national economic policy dialogue groups on facilitating the integration of women’s socio-economic and political interests in post conflict and recovery, and the integration of women’s economic interests in public policy.

Programme Design and Delivery

  • Provide strategic direction and substantive leadership on socio-economic and political related issues as it impacts the development of women’s socio-economic and political empowerment.
  • Take the lead in providing substantive technical inputs into programme development, through vision, conceptualization and design, and the annual planning process.
  • Participate in creating an organizational culture of accountability, responsibility, capacity building and quality of services through leadership, encouraging a team culture of learning, creativity and innovation

Capacity Building

  • Provide technical support in the day to day running of the WERS programme.
  • Contribute effectively to building the technical and managerial capacity of the staff in the implementation and scaling up of programme activities.

Partnership and Networking

  • Serve as one of UN Women’s key advocates in the field of women’s socio-economic and political development, articulating its messages through proactive public advocacy and practical policy solutions and linking women’s grass roots advocacy work to the national policy level.
  • Contribute to developing strategic partnerships and strengthening linkages with NGOs, donors, UN agencies, government institutions, private sector, civil society and community grass roots organizations for the implementation of CO’s Annual Work Plan on WERS.
  • Support UN Women’s contribution to the UN’s strategic planning processes in relation to women’s socio-economic and political development and will foster knowledge networks in this field.
Impact of Results:
  • Contribute to development and implementation of UN Women Afghanistan’s strategy on women’s economic rights and security to ensure relevant policy serves to strengthen women’s economic opportunities and participation in the development of the country.
  • Support strategic and targeted advocacy interventions in public policy making.
  • Participate in building a team which can lead cutting edge initiatives and interventions to ensure women’s secure and meaningful participation in the socio-economic development of the country


Core values and Guiding principles:

  • Integrity: Demonstrate consistency in upholding and promoting the values of UN Women in actions and decisions, in line with the UN Code of Conduct.
  • Professionalism: Demonstrate professional competence and expert knowledge of the pertinent substantive areas of work.
  • Cultural sensitivity and valuing diversity: Demonstrate an appreciation of the multicultural nature of the organization and the diversity of its staff. Demonstrate an international outlook, appreciating difference in values and learning from cultural diversity.
Core Competencies:
  • Ethics and Values: Demonstrate and safeguard ethics and integrity
  • Organizational Awareness: Demonstrate corporate knowledge and sound judgment
  • Development and Innovation: Take charge of self-development and take initiative.
  • Work in teams: Demonstrate ability to work in a multicultural, multi ethnic environment and to maintain effective working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds.
  • Communicating and Information Sharing:   Facilitate and encourage open communication and strive for effective communication.
  • Self-management and Emotional Intelligence:  Stay composed and positive even in difficult moments, handle tense situations with diplomacy and tact, and have a consistent behavior towards other.
  • Conflict Management: Surface conflicts and address them proactively acknowledging different feelings and views and directing energy towards a mutually acceptable solution.
  • Continuous Learning and Knowledge Sharing: Encourage learning and sharing of knowledge.
  • Appropriate and Transparent Decision Making: Demonstrate informed and transparent decision making
Functional competencies:
  • Ability to plan, prioritize and deliver a variety of tasks on time
  • Exercise sound judgment/analysis
  • Ability to develop creative solutions
  • Ability to provide constructive coaching and feedback for others
  • Ability to liaise with a myriad of stakeholders and partners, including government, civil society, international organizations and grassroots organizations
  • Demonstrated sensitivity, discretion, tact, and courtesy in relation to gender equality and women’s rights, development principles, implementing partners, and national and international personnel of varied nationalities and backgrounds

Required Skills and Experience


  • Masters degree or equivalent in international development, public policy, development economics or other relevant social sciences, with focus on gender and socio-economic issues.
  • Minimum 7 years relevant professional work experience in programme design and management in the areas of women’s socio-economic and political development with proven technical expertise, with preferably two years at managerial level.
  • Technical experience with gender analysis community-based and participatory approaches.
  • Sound knowledge of international standards on human rights, women’s rights and related instruments.
  • Experience in the area of advocacy and policy as it impacts women’s socio-economic development, ideally in a post conflict setting.
  • An understanding of the social, cultural, and political context of Afghanistan and its relation to gender is preferable.
  • In-depth knowledge of program design, management and implementation
  • Knowledge of UN Women business, operations and programming cycle is preferred
  • Fluency in spoken and written English.
  • Written and spoken skills in Dari or Pashto will be an advantage.

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