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.

Peace and Security is a key area of UN Women's work. At headquarters, the Peace and Security Section leads on UN system-wide coordination on Women, Peace and Security, provides technical and financial support to the peace and security work of UN Women field offices, and implements a number of global initiatives that range from training women on mediation, peacekeepers on preventing and responding to sexual violence, and experts on investigation and documentation of international crimes, to rapidly deploying gender advisors to commissions of inquiry, peace talks, and post-conflict planning and financing processes, supporting gender-responsive public service delivery, and linking women in the community and grassroots organizations to police and other actors to ensure better protection.

In recent months, the UN Secretary General has announced new architecture on rule of law in the UN system in order to strengthen rule of law programming in peacebuilding contexts. Under this new arrangement, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will serve as Joint Global Focal Point (GFP) for the Police, Justice and Corrections Areas in the Rule of Law in Post-conflict and other Crisis Situations. Other entities, including UN Women, will provide expertise to be co-located within this new team.  

The new arrangement provides an entry point for a coordinated effort by the UN system as a whole to mainstream gender into post-conflict rule of law planning, programming and support.   As the entity responsible for strengthening women’s access to justice in all settings, UN Women will second expertise in the form of a Gender and Rule of Law Specialist to the co-location team to coordinate gender mainstreaming and the impacts of rule of law programming for women. The position will entail coordinating between the GFP and UN Women as a whole, in order to draw in the necessary resources, skills, expertise needed in relation to each context and programme.

Access to justice and the equal application of the rule of law is a pre-requisite for the realization and protection of women’s rights. Effective judicial and legal systems not only ensure the protection and advancement of women’s rights, but can provide an enabling environment to address discriminatory practices which impede development. From a women’s human rights and rule of law perspective, at no time is legal protection more necessary, or more fragile, than during and in the immediate aftermath of conflicts when women’s experiences of insecurity and violations often continue unabated.

Countries emerging from armed conflicts or civil unrest are often characterized by weak or dysfunctional justice systems. The challenge of rebuilding institutional infrastructure, limited human and resource capacity, and unregulated security sector including the proliferation of non-state security actors and small arms, fragmented legal frameworks, widespread impunity and parallel legal systems make the restoration of the rule of law a formidable challenge. Ending impunity for sexual and gender-based violence and asserting women’s access to the full range of rights, including their equal access to property, land and inheritance are some of the most challenging yet fundamental conditions for the restoration of the rule of law post-conflict.

In coordination with the Programme Specialist, Rule of Law and Transitional Justice, the Gender and Rule of Law Specialist will ensure coordination between the work of UN Women and the GFP, leveraging UN Women’s country level work to feed into the work of the GFP. The Specialist will be responsible for ensuring that gender expertise is mainstreamed into all areas of work of the GFP in order to strengthen women’s access to justice in post-conflict and fragile settings, and will serve as a bridge between the GFP and UN Women networks, capacity and expertise at the country, regional and HQ levels.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Gender and Rule of Law Specialist will be under the guidance and supervision of the Policy Advisor. 

Description of Functions: 

Represent UN Women as a member of the GFP arrangements, in coordination with the Peace and Security Section, as well as the Programme and Policy Division as required:

  • Lead responsibility to coordinate between the GFP and UN Women, providing bridge for integrating expertise, knowledge and capacity to the broader UN system.
  • Represent UN women in GFP meetings, in coordination with the Peace and Security section.
  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge of current activities by UN entities in the context of the GFP and share with UN Women with an aim to strengthen coordination and partnerships

Support UN Women programme development and technical support, taking into consideration the work of the GFP as well as the recommendations of UN Women’s mapping report on women’s access to justice post-conflict:

  • Provide policy recommendations, strategic advice and proposed courses of action linked to the GFP implementation and implications for UN Women.
  • Provide policy recommendations, strategic advice, technical support to country and regional offices of UN Women on issues related to women’s access to justice, drawing on the knowledge and expertise within the GFP.
  • Establish and maintain close working contacts with key national, regional and local stakeholders from Government, Civil Society, Regional Organizations and other relevant international actors to build up and strengthen strategic alliances and partnerships with UN Women on gender and rule of law.
  • Represent UN Women at inter-governmental and regional meetings linked to issues covered by the GFP, as requested by the Chief Advisor on Peace and Security.
Act as an advisor to the GFP mainstreaming gender into all aspects of planning, programming, and country level support, liaising with UN Women Regional , Multi Country and Country offices as appropriate:
  • Support the GFP to mainstream gender into all aspects of planning, programming, country level support, linking with UN Women’s presence at the country level where appropriate.
  • Work within the GFP team to respond to and support gender mainstreaming into country-level assessments, planning and programming through the provision of expertise, technical support, guidance and coordination of actors.
  • Work in close cooperation across the rule of law entities of the GFP in order to coordinate existing gender capacities and networks both within and outside the UN system.
  • Develop from the UN Women mapping report on women’s access to justice post-conflict, a strategy for the implementation of the recommendations of the report through the work of the GFP. The plan of action and implementation of recommendations will also take into consideration taking forward the recommendations of the reports of the Secretary-General on the ‘Rule of Law and Transitional Justice in conflict and post-conflict societies’ (2011) and ‘Women’s Participation in Peacebuilding’ (2010), as well as UN Women’s report ‘Progress on the Status of the World’s Women’.

Knowledge management, including developing guidance on aspects of women’s access to justice post-conflict for dissemination and use in country setting:

  • Input to policy documents, Secretary General reports and other system wide processes.
  • Develop monitoring and reporting frameworks to track gendered impacts of rule of law programming.
  • Gather information and monitor country-level trends on relevant gender and rule of law developments.
  • Develop guidance on various aspects of gender and rule of law – in particular police, corrections, justice - for dissemination to field offices.
  • Contribute, in collaboration with the Programme Specialist, Rule of Law and Transitional Justice, to the development of a UN Women-wide knowledge hub and community of practice on women’s access to justice in conflict-affected contexts.
  • Prepare analytical reports, briefing notes, background papers, summaries, talking points and others as required by senior management.
Impact of Results:

The Gender and Rule of Law Specialist will contribute to significantly strengthening a mainstreamed gender approach to the rule of law programming of the UN system as a whole, through the provision of technical expertise; policy and programming advice; and the linking of resources and capacities of the broader UN system as a whole on gender and rule of law programming to the GFP. 

It is also intended that the position will contribute towards strengthening UN Women’s capacity and visibility on women’s access to justice, allowing it to fulfill its mandated responsibility in this area.

Lastly, the Specialist will link country and regional level expertise of UN Women to the broader UN system through the GFP, leading to increased coherence and coordination of approaches and the sharing of good practice and lessons learned in strengthening women’s access to justice.


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 others.
  • 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:

  • Demonstrated People Management Skills.
  • Proven ability to advocate and provide policy advice.
  • Ability to lead strategic planning, programme development and implementation, results-based management and reporting.
  • Ability to develop and maintain strong partnerships and mobilize resources.

Required Skills and Experience

  • Masters degree in law, relevant social sciences, political science/ international affairs, international development studies, gender/women’s studies, human rights or a related field.
  • Minimum  7 years experience in the area of gender and rule of law in conflict-affected settings, with specific expertise in justice, police and/ or corrections.
  • Experience in programming and experience in a conflict-affected setting preferred.
  • Excellent writing and communication skills.
  • Technical expertise and experience in the area of programming design and implementation in the area of rule of law (specifically justice, police, corrections) from a gender perspective.
  • Familiarity with the UN system and knowledge of UN Women is an asset
  • Fluency in English is required.
  • Working knowledge of other UN languages is desirable.
Application Information:
  • All applications must include (as an attachment) the completed UN Women Personal History form (P-11) which can be downloaded from
  • Kindly note that the system will only allow one attachment. Applications without the completed UN Women P-11 form will be treated as incomplete and will not be considered for further assessment.

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.