The Judiciary plays an important role in upholding the rule of law, delivering justice and protecting human rights. Courts adjudicate various issues and interpret different areas of law that impact on multiple aspects of people’s lives. In making judicial decisions, judges and magistrates can thus impede or contribute to a country’s social progress, economic development and political stability. As such, diversity is an essential component of a fair, impartial and legitimate judiciary. Bringing diverse experiences and perspectives to bear allows for representative judicial decision making that is better informed, builds public confidence in the justice system and supports social cohesion and the ‘sustaining peace’ framework.[1]

Since the adoption of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) 1979 which places a responsibility on States parties to ensure that women participate without discrimination in public life, countries have taken important steps to improve gender parity in the

[1] UN General Assembly, A/RES/70/262 (12 May 2016); UN Security Council, Resolution 2282, S/RES/2282 (2016).

judiciary. For example, women make up over 30% of judges in Italy (52.9%) El Salvador (48.7%), France (70.9%), Germany (44.5%), Uganda (44%), Spain (40%) and USA (34.7%)[1].

In Africa, for instance, there are currently seven women Chief Justices in African countries- Ethiopia, Niger, Lesotho, Sudan, Côte d’Ivoire, Zambia. Women's representation on constitutional courts in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, is 23.95%, lower than the world average (24.02%) but higher than regions such as South Asia (8.13%) and the Middle East and North Africa.

Despite this, courts in many countries do not adequately reflect the gender diversity of the communities they serve. Female representation is varied and far in between with some countries scoring very low, for example, Kuwait (0%), Iraq (7.6), Nepal (3.8%). Where there have been more women appointed as judges, they are still vastly underrepresented in top-ranking judicial positions and upper courts[2] and usually well represented in family and other courts of first instance. For example, in El Salvador female representation is 35.7% in higher-level courts and 50.4% in lower-level courts while in Germany, female representation is 29.3% in higher-level courts compared to 44.8% in lower-level courts.

There are approximately 40 female judges in South Sudan, female representation amongst the senior non-judicial/administrative staff as well as the national judicial service commission or appointment body is critical to decision-making.  South Sudanese women judges also encounter challenges in balancing work/life commitments, persisting gender stereotypes, inadequate professional development opportunities, language barriers[3]  and gender bias in entering the legal profession. These obstacles prevent women lawyers in South Sudan from rising in their field to enter the judicial workforce and obtaining promotions within the judiciary. Stringent requirements for judicial appointments and selection methods, which tend to favor existing patriarchal structures, also tend to prevent women from becoming top judges. Often, these requirements arise from the legal systems all impacting differently on the inclusion and promotion of women to the judicial institutions. Lack of available recorded data on levels of female representation in South Sudan and the quality of their decisions affect the advancement of more gender diverse judiciary in South Sudan.

South Sudanese women judges face several challenges compounded with other demographic factors taken into consideration. For example, women belonging to a particular minority ethnic group may be more underrepresented in the judiciary than when looking at the representation of either women or that ethnic group alone. Also, the intersectionality of gender with age may signal positive or negative trends within the country over time. Therefore, the intersectionality of gender with other characteristics, including age, disability status, ethnic groups, and linguistic groups are crucial in providing a more robust picture of representation in the South Sudanese judiciary.

The anticipated Judicial Reforms in the 2018 Revitalized Peace Agreement on the resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) provides an opportunity for South Sudan to advance gender diversity through its gender provision of at least 35% for the participation of women in decision making, therefore understanding the current representation status and its benefits through the provision of clear data and analysis of the current levels of women representation in the Judiciary is crucial. Such data can help identify the barriers to women’s judicial representation and leadership, inform key stakeholders about the scope of the problem and persuade them to launch targeted responses aimed at increasing judicial gender diversity which is crucial for maintaining public confidence and enhancing women’s access to justice.  The ability to generate such persuasive data can help to systematically trace improvements and trends over time.

Against the backdrop, UNDP South Sudan seeks the services of an International Consultant to examine the number of women in the Judiciary at all levels and produce a report with recommendations that can be used as an advocacy tool to the Ad hoc Judicial Reforms Committee and other stakeholders to advance gender diversity.

[1] This data is based on responses from a pilot survey conducted in 2018 on representation in the judiciary for purposes of the data collection methodological development for SDG 16.7.1, as well as the International Commission of Jurists’ Women and the Judiciary report (2014),

[2] UN Women, UNDP, UNODC, and OHCHR, A Practitioner’s Toolkit on Women’s Access to Justice Programming (2018).

[3] Many professional legal practitioners had their studies in Arabic before the secession from Sudan.

Scope of Work

This initiative will study, review, and establish current levels of female representation in the judiciary across South Sudan, identify barriers to a gender diverse institution, identify gaps in quality decision making and propose effective strategies for promoting gender parity in the judiciary.

The study should seek qualitative data in addition to quantitative data, including through surveys on the appointment and promotion process and on barriers women within the judiciary face such as gender discrimination, harassment, and unconscious bias.

Data collected in this study could be supplemented by existing literature and sources of data, including data collected by UNDP to develop the data collection methodology for SDG 16.7.1, data collected by the World Bank on female judges in constitutional courts and by UNODC on female judges in criminal courts, as well as a Ministry of Gender, Child and Social welfare UNDP supported mapping and assessment on Gender mainstreaming in Public Administration at the national level

The initiative will also identify and involve several stakeholders including the justice actors, security sector actors and civil society organizations such as the Bar Association and FIDA South Sudan as well as the academia.


Deberes y responsabilidades

Expected Deliverables

 The consultant will be responsible for the following key deliverables:

  • An inception report including the methodology, research tools and a detailed work plan of the
  • Draft report completed and submitted for validation.
  • Presentation of the main findings of the assessment during a validation workshop
  • Final report providing analysis of collected data and contextualized recommendations.

Commitment to Quality Work

 The consultant shall use an evidence-based approach and ensure the highest standard of work and timely deliverables at every stage of this assignment. In particular, the consultant shall ensure clarity of objectives and process during the engagement with several stakeholders including the judiciary, the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare, the Bar Association, the University of Juba, CSOs and development partners; to ensure that the content and format of the knowledge and documents shared meet the highest standard.



  • A minimum of 7 years of professional experience in the field of Gender Justice, of which at least 5 years relates to engagement with key criminal justice actors.
  • Demonstrable experience in the study of gender representation in public institutions and barriers to gender diversity.
  • Strong knowledge and work experience in research, quantitative and qualitative assessment.
  • Excellent communication and writing skills in English required.
  • Hands on experience and an understanding of the legal systems and practice is required
  • Experience working for or with developing country governments, especially in post-conflict countries.

Habilidades y experiencia requeridas


  • A minimum of a Master’s degree or equivalent in Law, Gender studies, Social Sciences, Public Administration or Policy Development related field is required


The consultant will be paid the agreed amount in two lump- sums upon the satisfactory delivery of the first and last deliverables 


Payment Schedule                                   Deliverables or documents to be delivered                          Payment Percentage



1st Installment                                                           Inception Report                                                                   20%

2nd Installment                       Draft Report and presentation of the main findings of the assessment 

                                                during the validation workshop.                                                                                40% 

3rd Installment                                   Final Report                                                                                                   40% 



The consultant will be supervised by the UNDP’s Access to Justice, Security and Human rights Strengthening Programme Project Manager and Chief Technical Advisor.


Evaluation Criteria

1. Relevant Educational Experience (10%):         

A minimum of a master’s degree or equivalent in Law, Gender Studies, Social Sciences, Public Administration or Policy Development related field

2. Relevant Work Experience as per TOR Requirements (30%):       

3. Competencies, Skills & language (20%)

  • Excellent communication and writing skills in English is required and Arabic is desirable.
  • Takes responsibility for action and manages constructive criticisms
  • Displays mastery of subject matter
  • Proven ability to work under pressure with tight deadlines, delivers on time and within cost and quality standards
  • Proficiency and proven experience in the use of Microsoft Office suite (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint) is required.

4. Proposed Methodology (10%)

  • A summary description of the proposed strategy and how the strategy will ensure the achievement of the objectives (Max 1 page)


Financial evaluation (total 30 points)