Tuesday, December 16, 2014



The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is the UN organization that promotes volunteerism to support peace and development worldwide. Volunteerism can transform the pace and nature of development and it benefits both society at large and the individual volunteer. UNV contributes to peace and development by advocating for volunteerism globally, encouraging partners to integrate volunteerism into development programming, and mobilizing volunteers.

In most cultures volunteerism is deeply embedded in long-established, ancient traditions of sharing and support within the communities. In this context, UN Volunteers take part in various forms of volunteerism and play a role in development and peace together with co-workers, host agencies and local communities.

In all assignments, UN Volunteers promote volunteerism through their action and conduct. Engaging in volunteer activity can effectively and positively enrich their understanding of local and social realities, as well as create a bridge between themselves and the people in their host community. This will make the time they spend as UN Volunteers even more rewarding and productive.

1.  UNV Assignment Title: Programme Officer, Women’s Rights

2.  Type of Assignment:              National UN Volunteer  /X/ - Gambian Nationals

3.  Project Title:                          Strengthening Capacity & Coordination for Women’s Rights

4.  Duration:                                One year, renewable based on performance

5.  Location, Country:                  Banjul, The Gambia

6.  Expected Starting Date:          ASAP

7.  Brief Project Description:

The Government of the Gambia recognizes the need to promote and protect the rights of women and girls, thus the ratification and domestication of the United Nation Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (UNCEDAW) and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Right and the Right of Women in Africa into Women’s Act 2010, Domestic Violence Act 2013 and the Sexual Offences Act 2013.  A National Plan of Action on Gender Based Violence and FGM/C 2013-2017 has also been developed and it is being implemented.

Gender-based violence is considered a grave violation of human and legal rights. It is important that it is recognized, and addressed, not only as a prime barrier to gender equality and women empowerment but also to reproductive health. It is a barrier that prevents women, families, and countries from achieving their full potential. Violence against women has profound implications for health but is often ignored. WHO's World Report on Violence and Health notes that "one of the most common forms of violence against women is that performed by a husband or male partner.” This type of violence is frequently invisible since it happens behind closed doors, and often, legal systems and cultural norms do not treat it as a crime, but rather as a "private" family matter, or a normal part of life.

According to MICS (2010) in The Gambia, about 75% of women feel that their husband/partner has a right to hit or beat them for a variety of reasons. Women who approve their partner’s violence, in most cases agree and justify violence in instances when they neglect the children (52.4%), or if they demonstrate their autonomy, e.g. go out without telling their husbands (53%) or argue with them (33.3%). About 60 per cent of women believe that their husband/partner has a right to hit or beat them if they refuse to have sex with him and about 14 per cent believed that beating is justified if she burns the food.

The data shows that women in Banjul are less likely to approve wife/partner beating than women from the other LGAs where more than half of the women approve of the practice. About 80 per cent of women who are currently married or in union approve of wife/partner beating for any one of the reasons compared to 63.1 per cent of women who are never married. Similarly, the higher the educational attainment of a woman, the less likely it is for her to approve of wife beating. Women from poorer households are more likely to approve of wife beating than women from the richer households.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM/C) is one form of GBV highly practiced in the Gambia (76.3% ; 2010 MICS) with regional variations. FGM/C is not only a human rights violation but it also has serious health and reproductive health complications.

One of the key challenges of the UNICEF/UNFPA Joint programme on accelerating the abandonment of FGM/C, since it was launched in 2009, is the absence of an effective coordination mechanism of GBV and FGM/C interventions, the National Steering Committee is weak and needs to be strengthened. This has resulted in information being available on some of the indicators and not others. The Office of the Vice President and Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Women’s Bureau, requests the services of a National UN Volunteer from UNFPA, who will work on coordinating GBV and FGM/C activities. The objective of the UNV assignment is to strengthen the capacity of the Gender Machinery (Office of The Vice President and Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Women’s Bureau) in order to effectively  implement, monitor, and coordinate GBV and FGM/C  interventions in the country.

8.  Host Agency/Host Institute: UNFPA

9.  Organizational Context:

At the helm of the Gender Machinery, The Ministry of Women’s Affairs was created in 1996 within the portfolio of the Office of the Vice President.  The Office of the Vice President and Ministry of Women’s Affairs (OVP and MoWA) is responsible for policy formulation, coordination, resource mobilization, monitoring and evaluation at the highest level for the four sub sectors under its purview namely: The Women’s Bureau (WB), National Population Commission Secretariat (NPCS), National Nutrition Agency (NaNA) Food Safety and Quality Assurance Agency. 

The assignment of the Programme Officer, Women’s Rights, is based in The Women’s Bureau. The UN Volunteer will work closely with the OVP and MoWA and UNFPA.

10. Type of Assignment Place: Family duty station.

11.  Description of tasks:

Under the direct supervision of the Executive Director, Women’s Bureau and the overall guidance of the UNFPA, the National UN Volunteer will perform the following tasks:

·         Provide technical support to the National Steering Committee on GBV

·         Identify and develop strategic policy and programme intervention in addressing violence against women and girls.

·         Monitor and Coordinate the implementation of FGM/C and GBV activities countrywide. 

·         Facilitate quarterly meetings of the Victims of Violence Advisory Committee

·         Enhance sharing of information on results and identify enabling factors for the implementation of the GBV Communication Strategy.

·         Develop guidelines for disbursement of funds to support victims of violence and their families.

·         Support resource mobilisation activities for the implementation of the National Plan of Action on Gender Base Violence 2013 -2017 as well as the National Action Plan on FGM/C 2013-2017. 

·         Monitor and report on progress on the implementation of the Women’s Act 2010, Sexual Offences Act 2013 and Domestic Violence Act 2013.

·         Implement Capacity building activities in order to ensure long term sustainability

·         Perform other relevant duties as may be necessary.

Furthermore, UN Volunteers are encouraged to:

·         Strengthen their knowledge and understanding of the concept of volunteerism by reading relevant UNV and external publications and take active part in UNV activities (for instance in events that mark IVD);

·         Be acquainted with and build on traditional and/or local forms of volunteerism in the host country;

·         Reflect on the type and quality of voluntary action that they are undertaking, including participation in ongoing reflection activities;

·         Contribute articles/write-ups on field experiences and submit them for UNV publications/websites, newsletters, press releases, etc.;

·         Assist with the UNV Buddy Programme for newly-arrived UN Volunteers;

·         Promote or advise local groups in the use of online volunteering, or encourage relevant local individuals and organizations to use the UNV Online Volunteering service whenever technically possible.

12. Results/Expected Output

The key results have an impact on the successful implementation of the GBV and FGM activities and long term positive impact on Women’s Rights. In particular, effective execution of this role will contribute towards:

·         Effective communication and coordination of national activities on GBV and FGM

·         Effective implementation of GBV and FGM activities

·         Capacity Building on GBV and FGM in the country

·         Effective support to GBV and FGM victims

·         An  effective GBV National Steering Committee

·         Greater awareness of Women’s Rights in the country

13.  Qualifications/Requirements:

  • Masters Degree in Development Studies, Gender Studies, Law or other relevant Social Sciences
  • Four to five years’ experience in planning, implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation of programmes/projects with a Women’s Rights or Gender focus
  • Experience in research, project proposal writing, monitoring and evaluation  
  • Good qualitative and quantitative data analysis skills

·         Understanding of development paradigms, particularly related to women’s rights

·         Understanding of the socio-political situation of The Gambia

·         Persuasive and able to use tact and diplomacy as and when appropriate

·         Ability to meet deadlines, display a strong work ethic, values and commitment

  • Good written and oral communication skills in English; knowledge of local languages is a plus
  • Ability to work in teams and communicate effectively with different stakeholders

14. Submission of applications

Interested and qualified Gambian Nationals may submit a one-page cover letter explaining their interest and suitability for the position as well as an updated CV (2 page maximum), to the address below:

The Resident Representative, UNDP

5 Kofi Annan Street

P.O. Box 553, Cape Point, The Gambia

Or through email:

Att: UN Volunteers Office

Submissions must also be clearly marked: “UN Volunteer Programme Officer: Women’s Rights – UNFPA/WB”. Closing date for applications is Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014.  Applications received after this date will not be given consideration.  Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.