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 programs of UN Women, working closely with the UN Women training facility in Santo Domingo.

The Policy Division staff is organized in Thematic Clusters, bringing together technical experts who: undertake issues-based research; analyze 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 substantive inputs to policy advocacy and technical cooperation programmes.

Under the supervision of the Policy Advisor - Human Rights, the Policy Specialist is responsible for undertaking human rights analysis and research on priority areas and assuming substantive and administrative responsibilities on priority themes. S/He provides support to intergovernmental processes dealing with human rights development issues and prepares inputs for reports to human rights inter-governmental bodies under the guidance and oversight of the supervisor. 

Duties and Responsibilities

Provide technical and programme support: 

  • Provide technical support to regional and thematic programmes, country strategies and knowledge management;
  • Provide technical inputs to the development and implementation a workplan for the section (identify key deliverables, develop implementation time line, etc.);
  • Provide programmatic and operational support for the development and implementation of global programmes and related thematic initiatives.

Provide research and analysis support: 

  • Conduct research and analysis of global, regional and national trends;
  • Source and carry out research on articles, books, case studies etc. to produce useful data and material for advisor on request as assistance in producing papers, speeches, or related products;
  • Provide substantive inputs to the development of flagship publications related to Human Rights;
  • Prepare select written contributions and knowledge products for various purposes, i.e. case studies, short topical papers, briefings to leadership, speeches, and related products for wider dissemination;
  • Establish and nurture relationship with academia, research institutes, civil society and experts to expand and share knowledge, exchange views on latest findings, incorporate cutting-edge thinking in UN Women work.

Provide technical and coordination support to intergovernmental processes and policy development: 

  • Provide substantive inputs to the preparation of position papers and reports for presentation to intergovernmental bodies such as Commission on the Status of Women, Economic and Social Council, the General Assembly and other policy-making organs, as appropriate and prepare analytical summaries of debates, supporting negotiations and analyzing/compiling outcomes;
  • Coordinate the development of analytical reports to contribute to the Secretary-General’s mandated reporting to intergovernmental forums;
  • Liaise with UN Women colleagues and others, as relevant, to ensure coordination with intergovernmental initiatives;
  • Participate in and/or represent the Section in internal and external committees, inter-governmental, inter-agency task forces, and international technical and advocacy, as required.

Provide Knowledge management support: 

  • Facilitate the effective planning and exchange of materials and knowledge products related the thematic area;
  • Contribute to the development and maintenance of a roster of gender experts who can develop/ provide technical support to UN Women offices, national partners, UNCT’s or other UN system entities in the related thematic area;
  • Develop knowledge products that meet UN Women needs and standards of quality;
  • Establish and nurture relationship with academia, research institutes, civil society and experts in Human Rights to expand and share knowledge, exchange views on latest findings, incorporate cutting-edge thinking in UN Women work. 

Key Performance Indicators:

The key results expected will have positive impact on the overall effectiveness of UN Women’s work related to human rights, through contributing directly to achievement of the relevant Goals in UN Women’s Strategic Plan. 

  • Quality and timely contributions to regional, thematic and country programmes as requested as per workplan;
  • Quality research and inputs Quality written contributions;
  • Timely coordination of meetings and events.


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 Values and Competencies Framework:

Functional Competencies:

  • Knowledge of gender related issues and human rights, including laws that promote gender equality;
  • Good knowledge and experience related to current policies and practices in the fields of Human Rights;
  • Good knowledge on issues relating to human rights mechanisms and the human rights based approach;
  • Good knowledge of intergovernmental processes and bodies;
  • Ability to undertake policy research and prepare quantitative studies, utilizing statistical methodologies, knowledge of database applications for statistical analysis;
  • Ability to organize and complete multiple tasks by establishing priorities;
  • Ability to handle a large volume of work possibly under time constraints;
  • Ability to establish, build and sustain effective relationships with clients, demonstrating understanding of client’s perspective; anticipates client needs and addresses them promptly;
  • Ability to draft policy papers, speeches, briefings etc.;
  • Ability to develop and maintain roster of experts, and a databank of research institutes, academics, civil society experts, etc. of direct relevance to the Focus Area.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master's degree (or equivalent) in development related disciplines, gender issues, human rights, public policy/administration, or related social science. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


  • A minimum of 5 years of increasingly responsible professional experience in gender programming, policy research and gender analysis at the international level, at least 2 of which should be directly related to Human Rights;
  • Experience working with laws that promote gender equality is an advantage;
  • Experience working with inter-governmental bodies and international human rights mechanisms and processes is a distinct advantage;
  • Experience with databases and in developing research papers. 


  • Written and oral proficiency in English is required;
  • Knowledge of another UN working language is desirable. 


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.