UN Women: Policy Specialist, Women’s Political Participation

Advertised on behalf of :

Application Deadline :21-Jan-19 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :FTA International
Post Level :P-3
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.

Women’s political participation is a primary area of UN Women’s work. UN Women works to implement Outcome 2 of its 2018-2021 Strategic Plan, “Women lead, participate in and benefit equally from governance systems,” and contributes towards achievement of several Sustainable Development Goals, namely Goal 5 on gender equality. The work includes supporting legal and policy reforms to promote women’s electoral participation (including initiatives to address violence against women in politics); strengthened capacities of women to engage in political life; supporting parliamentary bodies to deliver gender equality reforms, monitoring and preventing violence against women in politics, and improved data and statistics on women’s representation in local government (SDG indicator 5.5.1b).  UN Women works with a range of partners and stakeholders nationally, regionally and internationally to ensure more women of all ages fully participate, lead and engage in political institutions.

Under the guidance and supervision of the Global Policy Advisor on Political Participation, and working with the Political Participation team, the Policy Specialist will support normative, intergovernmental and policy development processes; research, analysis and knowledge management; and technical and programme guidance on political participation for UN Women.

Duties and Responsibilities

Provide normative, intergovernmental and policy development support on political participation:

  • Provide technical inputs in the implementation of UN Women strategic plan and the team work plan;
  • Draft briefing notes, speeches and talking points on women’s political participation for UN Women’s senior leadership as required;
  • Prepare written contributions to corporate and donor-related reporting processes, including annual reports.
  • Coordinate the organization of meetings and provide inputs to related policy papers and reports for intergovernmental bodies such as the Commission on the Status of Women, General Assembly and other policy-making organs of the United Nations;
  • Draft and/or coordinate substantive inputs on women’s political participation into relevant normative documents and reports, including the Secretary-General’s mandated reporting to intergovernmental forums;
  • Organize or coordinate and/or participate in policy-related events, including side events for the Commission on the Status of Women, Expert Group Meetings or seminars on issues relevant to women’s political participation; 
  • Participate in and/or represent the team in internal and external committees, inter-governmental or inter-agency task forces as required.

Provide research, analytical and knowledge management support on Political Participation:

  • Research, develop and present analytical reports, research papers, background papers, summaries, correspondence and/or knowledge products as required on women’s political participation; 
  • Develop, provide inputs to and produce knowledge products according to UN Women’s needs and standards of quality on issues related political participation, including women’s representation in local government and violence against women in politics;
  • Coordinate the production of language versions and/or translation of knowledge products as required;
  • Contribute to the implementation of UN Women’s Knowledge Management strategy for the team, including by contributing to relevant communities of practice, helping document good practice and codifying lessons learned and supporting programming tools and training development;
  • Undertake other research on Political Participation as required.

Provide technical and programme support on Political Participation:

  • Provide substantive technical and policy guidance to regional offices, country offices and multi-country offices on developing and strengthening projects/ programmes to support implementation of global norms and standards on women’s political participation;
  • Review and provide technical inputs and policy-related quality assurance to programme proposals and knowledge products from country and regional offices as required;
  • Prepare or provide inputs to   project documents for the team or regional and country offices;
  • Undertake or contribute to preparation of technical assistance missions as required.

Key Performance Indicators:

  • Timely and quality technical research provided;
  • Quality reports, briefing notes and other strategic documents drafted and submitted in a timely manner;
  • Meetings and events are well organized;
  • Quality knowledge products produced.


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

Functional Competencies:

  • Strong knowledge of women’s political participation; additional knowledge of and expertise in relevant areas such as political institutions, parliaments, local government or elections are assets;
  • Strong teamwork skills and ability to interact with different colleagues, organizations;
  • Ability to perform qualitative and quantitative policy research and identify and analyze trends, opportunities;
  • Ability to advocate and provide policy advice;
  • Strong analytical skills;
  • Ability to write policy papers, speeches, briefings;
  • Strong knowledge of programme development, implementation, results-based management and reporting.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s degree or equivalent in political science, elections, gender studies, human rights, international relations or other social science fields 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.


  • At least 5 years progressively responsible experience in designing and managing programmes related to political participation;
  • At least 3 years’ experience in advocating for women’s empowerment and leadership;
  • Some experience in developing countries related to political empowerment is an asset;
  • Experience in programme, policy analysis, and strategic planning;
  • Experience working with, and building partnerships with governments, donors and civil society organizations internationally and in the field;
  • Experience conducting and/or publishing relevant research or articles is an asset;
  • Experience working with the UN is an asset.


  • Written and oral 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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