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 economic empowerment, including the empowerment of migrant women and girls, is one of the priority areas of UN Women, as reflected in the organization’s Strategic Plan 2013-2017. The Migration Portfolio forms part of the Economic Empowerment Section of the Policy Division at UN Women Headquarters in New York. In 2016, the Migration Team’s work-streams have included:

  • Coordinating UN Women’s chairing of the Global Migration Group (GMG) in 2016;
  • Managing the implementation of UN Women’s EU-funded project on “Promoting and Protecting Women Migrant Workers’ Labour and Human Rights: Engaging with International and National Human Rights Mechanisms to enhance Accountability” due to be finalised in early 2017; 
  • Supporting the UN system, requesting Member States and other relevant entities to develop gender-responsive approaches to migration that promote gender equality and the empowerment of migrant women and girls.

Global Migration Group (GMG)

UN Women is the current Chair of the GMG for 2016. The GMG brings together 20 UN entities to promote the wider application of all relevant international and regional instruments and norms relating to migration, and encourage the adoption of more coherent, comprehensive and better coordinated approaches to the issue of international migration. UN Women chairs the GMG in accordance with three main objectives:

  • Ensure that both men and women are impacted positively by the work of the GMG, and elevate the focus on women in the migration debate;
  • Strengthen the role of the GMG members and their partners, in particular the GFMD (Global Forum on Migration and Development), in the implementation and monitoring of the migration-related targets and indicators of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; 
  • Increase the GMG’s effectiveness and impact through increased coordination and cooperation.

EU-funded project on Promoting and Protecting Women Migrant Workers’ Labour and Human Rights

During 2014-2017, the Migration Team is working on an EU-funded project on “Promoting and Protecting Women Migrant Workers’ Labour and Human Rights: Engaging with International and National Human Rights Mechanisms to enhance Accountability”. This project has been implemented in three pilot countries: Mexico, Moldova and the Philippines. These countries were selected for the strategic opportunities that they present: a high proportion of out-going migrant workers; requirements to report to Treaty and national review bodies during the project period of 2014-2017; significant government and stakeholder need, interest and ownership; precedent-setters that are strategically positioned to influence change. These countries also reflect current trends in international migration being key sending countries, and in the case of Mexico a sending, transit and destination country.

Duties and Responsibilities


Description of Responsibilities & Learning Objectives

  • Undertake desk based research regarding gender and migration as required for ongoing and future initiatives;
  • Developing substantive inputs on the gendered dimensions of migration for UN and other documents;
  • Drafting, reviewing and copy-editing documents including concept notes, briefing notes, reports and presentations;
  • Supporting the organization of events, meetings and other outreach related activities;
  • Supporting the finalisation of UN Women’s tenure as the 2016 Chair of the Global Migration Group, including: assistance in planning; organising and implementing relevant meetings; conferences and workshops; taking minutes; drafting background notes and talking points; and coordinating with other GMG Members;
  • Supporting the finalization of the EC-funded project on the rights of women migrant workers in Mexico, Moldova and the Philippines, including: draft, edit and review project documents, assist in the preparation and implementation of events, provide background research, assist with implementing the final evaluation of the project;
  • Any other relevant tasks to support the Economic Empowerment Section.


Core Values and Guiding Principles: 



  • Demonstrate consistency in upholding and promoting the values of UN Women in actions and decisions, in line with the UN Code of Conduct.


  • Demonstrate professional competence and expert knowledge of the pertinent substantive areas of work.

Respect for 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.



  • Hold colleagues and team members accountable for planned goals and competency standards;
  • Practise giving and receiving constructive feedback.


Client Orientation

  • Proactively inform clients, preventing loss of time and errors;
  • Respond to questions, resolve problems, and help provide accurate information to clients;
  • Identify, understand, and address client needs.


Commitment to Learning

  • Learn about agency, its processes, structure, challenges, and environment;
  • Contribute to knowledge sharing.



  • Produce communication products (written and oral);
  • Interpret key messages for and from clients with cultural sensitivity.


Planning and Organizing

  • Develop work plans;
  • Implement activities in a timely manner, meet deadlines.



  • Coordinate work and roles with other team members;
  • Support goals of the team;
  • Demonstrate informed and transparent decision making.


Functional Competencies:

  • Knowledge on gender and migration;
  • Strong writing, research and analytical skills;
  • Capacity to plan, prioritise and deliver tasks on time;
  • Familiarity with the work of the Global Migration Group (GMG) desirable.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Gender Studies, Migration Studies, Human Rights, Law or other similar subject at the university level;
  • The applicant must either be enrolled in a graduate school programme (second university degree or equivalent, or higher); be enrolled in the final academic year of a first university degree programme (minimum Bachelor's level or equivalent); or have graduated with a university degree and, if selected, must commence the internship within a one-year period of graduation.


  • Full computer literacy with MS Word, Excel, Power Point;
  • Commitment, interest, and knowledge of gender equality and migration.



  • Excellent communication skills (written and oral) in English are required;
  • Working knowledge of another UN language is a distinct advantage, but not required.

Interns are not financially remunerated by UN Women.

Application Information:

  • UN Women will only be able to respond to those applications in which there is further interest;
  • Selected applicants must provide the internship application, two letters of recommendation, proof of health insurance and school enrolment, passport, and visa (if applicable).


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.