UN Women: Chief, Economic Empowerment Section

Advertised on behalf of :

Application Deadline :27-Mar-18 (Midnight New York, USA)
Time left :8d 2h 3m
Type of Contract :FTA International
Post Level :D-1
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :1 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.

The Policy Division develops and implements the UN Women program of work on analysis, research and knowledge management that provides the evidence base for the advice and guidance UN Women provides to the intergovernmental process, the UN system, and to UN Women staff working at country and regional level on issues of gender equality and women’s empowerment. It identifies emerging issues and trends, and develops and proposes new strategies for achieving the agreed goals through innovative approaches and lessons learned about what works in practice. It also designs and oversees the training and capacity development programmes of UN Women, working closely with the UN Women training facility in Santo Domingo.

Based on UN normative mandates and the UN Women Strategic Plan (2018-2021), the Division undertakes or coordinates global or sectoral research and data analysis; advises on norms, policies and strategies for achieving the internationally agreed goals related to gender equality and women’s empowerment. It acts as a knowledge hub, collecting evidence on progress and emerging issues, identifying trends in implementation of global commitments; and sharing knowledge on innovative approaches and lessons learned in implementation. It designs tools for inter-regional capabilities building and institutional development programmes and fosters strategic substantive partnerships with academia and other UN partners, in close collaboration with the Strategic Partnerships, Coordination, and Intergovernmental Support Bureau, the Programme Division and UN Women Training Center (Santo Domingo).

The Policy Division staff is organised in thematic Sections, bringing together technical experts who: undertake issues-based research; analyse data on country, regional or global trends; build a knowledge base on policy commitments and their implementation; propose evidence-based options for global policy, norms and standards and for UN Women global programme strategies; and contribute substantively to normative work, policy advocacy, and technical cooperation programmes.

UN Women’s Strategic Plan addresses women’s economic empowerment as one of its key outcomes. The Section focuses its work in three key areas: Macroeconomics – promoting policies that are more responsive to and that address women’s needs and priorities and creating fiscal space for gender equality and women’s economic empowerment; Economic Institutions – increasing the capacity of economic institutions to eliminate inequalities and generate economic wellbeing for all women; and Sustainable Development – policy and programmatic frameworks to advance women’s economic empowerment in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. CEDAW, the Beijing Platform for Action and other international standards, including of the ILO, are also pertinent as is a broad array of human rights commitments.

The Economic Empowerment Section is currently working on agreed strategies to address women’s persistent poverty and exclusion by focusing on women’s income security, decent work, and economic autonomy through: increasing the number of policies that promote decent work and social protection for women; enabling more women to own, launch, and better manage large, medium, and small enterprises; and promoting rural women’s access to productive resources and engagement in sustainable agriculture.

The Section Chief, Economic Empowerment, reports to the Director, Policy Division for strategic guidance and direction, and is responsible for leading the development of thematic work within the mandates of the Division including leading global policy support for initiatives that support women’s income security, decent work, and economic autonomy, focusing on the informal economy and addressing the gender pay gap as well as UN Women’s work on gender-responsive procurement. The incumbent is responsible for Lead the development of knowledge production on women’s economic empowerment, for developing, maintaining and expanding partnerships, developing and/or supporting high level advocacy initiatives and managing the Economic Empowerment Section.

Duties and Responsibilities

Lead global policy support for initiatives that support women’s income security, decent work, and economic autonomy, focusing on the informal economy, gender-responsive procurement, and addressing the gender pay gap:

  • Lead the review and development of global policies in the area of economic empowerment to enhance understanding of gender equality issues and dimensions, advance UN Women’s normative, coordination, and operational mandates and support its strategic programmes and that of other partners;
  • Provide policy guidance and advice to UN Women regional and country offices to develop and implement initiatives that promote decent work and social protection for all women; women’s entrepreneurship and women’s enterprises; and women’s access to productive resources and sustainable agriculture; with a specific focus on the informal economy, gender-responsive procurement, and addressing the gender pay gap;
  • Act as a thought leader for the section, and provide strategic advice to the Policy Director and the rest of the organization on economic empowerment;
  • Introduce innovation and cutting-edge practices, drawing on feminist economic development policy and practice, to enhance the development of policies and programmes.

Lead the development and/or the support to women’s economic empowerment programmes, including Flagship Programme Initiatives and the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs):

  • Lead and implement a research agenda on the linkages between global commitments on women’s economic empowerment and their implementation at global, regional and national levels;
  • Oversee the roll out and implementation of Flagship Programme Initiatives and the WEPs, in close coordination with Regional Directors and Country Representatives and external partners.

Lead the development of knowledge production on women’s economic empowerment:

  • Lead the production of studies, reports and background papers on a range of gender equality issues relating to women’s economic empowerment;
  • Lead the development, testing and roll out of tools and methodologies in the area of women’s economic empowerment to provide standards and guidelines, based on a gender-equality and human-rights based approach, for programming and management; and ensure that lessons learned are incorporated into strategic programmes and activities;
  • Provide substantive contributions to international fora to help shape development of global and regional policies, norms and standards and implementation strategies;
  • Build and facilitate internal and external communities of practice on women’s economic empowerment. Contribute to the development and maintenance of global and regional knowledge networks, activities and practice.

Develop, maintain and expand partnerships and lead advocacy initiatives for tangible advancement of women’s economic empowerment:

  • Represent UN Women in international fora to encourage greater commitment to, collaboration on the implementation of gender equality and women’s economic empowerment policies;
  • Convene or represent UN Women in UN inter-agency working groups and other high level academic and policy conferences and events to participate in strategic discussions and establish cooperation/collaboration;
  • Provide substantive advice and guidance on the development of strategic approaches to resource mobilization, partnerships, and outreach for women’s economic empowerment, including building partnerships with the private sector, women’s business organizations, women workers’ organizations and trade unions, in close coordination with the Strategic Partnerships, Coordination and Intergovernmental Support Bureau;
  • Establish and nurture relationships with academia, research institutes, civil society and experts in the area of women’s economic empowerment, including the International Association for Feminist Economics.

Manage the Economic Empowerment Section:

  • Finalize and oversee the implementation of the annual workplans and annual reports for the section;
  • Promote teamwork and establish a working environment that is conducive to delivering results;
  • Supervise, guide and oversee the work the work of the team to ensure the delivery of quality results according to standards and goals established in the Section and the Policy Division; Manage the performance of staff and ensure compliance to the performance management process;
  • Manage and monitor financial resources and take responsibility for the integrity of financial systems and consistent application of the internal control framework and/or UN Women/UN rules and regulations. Submit timely mandated reports;
  • Oversee the development and implementation of strategic evaluation plans, ensure that management responses to all evaluations are completed and followed up, and that learning from evaluations is fed back into UN Women initiatives and operations;
  • Oversee security requirements for the team.

Key Performance Indicators:

The Section Chief has a significant impact on the success of efforts to develop and implement UN Women’s Strategic Plan in the area of women’s economic empowerment. The Section chief is responsible for developing and implementing the organization’s policies in this thematic area of expertise to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. The chief will also be core to building UN Women’s economic credibility in policy and knowledge contexts.

Key Performance Indicators include:

  • Timely and quality strategic advice to the Policy Director, the ELT and the rest of the organization;
  • Support for Flagship Programme rollout and WEPs implementation, ensure that the team provides timely and substantive advice to ROs / COs and external partners, such as communities of practice and knowledge guidance; support resource mobilisation efforts and ensure that donor reports are provided in a timely fashion;
  • Initiatives to engage and build relationships with key partners;
  • Quality of inputs provided to intergovernmental fora to help shape development of global and regional policies, norms, standards and implementation strategies; timely and quality production of SG reports and other normative ;
  • Quality and timeliness of substantive guidance and knowledge products;
  • Drawing up and implementation of annual work plan, as per organisational and Divisional timelines;
  • Performance management, support and development of staff.


Core values:

  • Integrity;
  • Professionalism;
  • Respect for Diversity.

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:?http://www.unwomen.org/-/media/headquarters/attachments/sections/about%20us/employment/un-women-employment-values-and-competencies-definitions-en.pdf

Functional Competencies:

  • Substantive knowledge on successful women’s income security, decent work, economic autonomy, and/or poverty reduction policy initiatives;
  • Ability to establish and foster good relations with government counterparts, UN agencies, donors and NGO partners, the private sector and international bodies;
  • Substantive knowledge of current thinking, policies and practices in feminist economics and women’s economic empowerment.
  • Ability to conceptualize and convey strategic vision from the spectrum of development experience;
  • Strong communication and advocacy skills, with proven expertise in writing cogent and convincing policy materials;
  • Managerial competencies and supervisory and management experience, including proven strong team-building and people management skills;
  • Proven analytical and problem-solving skills;
  • Excellent strategic planning, goal-setting and prioritization skills;
  • Effectiveness in establishing and fostering good relations with government counterparts, UN agencies, donors, and NGO partners;
  • Strong, proven commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master degree (or equivalent) in Economics or disciplines related to feminist economics, such as gender and development, public policy, or other social science fields; PhD desirable.


  • Minimum of 15 years of progressively responsible experience in gender and development, policy analysis, feminist economics or related areas;
  • Proven experience in advocating for women’s rights and economic empowerment;
  • Proven experience in implementation of initiatives related to women’s income security, decent work, and economic autonomy or justice;
  • Substantial experience in preparing and publishing policy pieces in feminist economics and women’s (economic) empowerment publications.
  • Previous experience in successfully collaborating with UN Agencies, governments, the private sector, international organizations, and civil society;
  • Demonstrated experience in successfully managing teams in a collaborative and transparent manner;
  • Field experience in developing countries is an advantage;
  • Recognized authority on women’s economic empowerment is desirable.


  • Fluency in English is required;
  • Knowledge of the other UN official working language is an asset.


  • All applications must include (as an attachment) the completed UN Women Personal History form (P-11) which can be downloaded from http://www.unwomen.org/about-us/employment 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.

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