Gender Equality & Human Rights Specialist

  • Full Time
  • Kathmandu
  • Applications have closed

Website United Nations Population Fund


Gender Equality & Human Rights Specialist, Kathmandu, Nepal Country Office, NOC

Job ID: 40323
Location: Asia and Pacific
Full/Part Time: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Regular

Background Information

Closing Date: 22 November 2021 (5.00 pm Nepal Time)
Duration: One year (renewable)*
Contract Type: Fixed-Term
Duty Station: Kathmandu, Nepal

* No expectancy of renewal in accordance with UN Staff Regulation 4.5

Organizational Setting

The Position:

The Gender Equality and Human Rights (GEHR) Specialist leads UNFPA’s work on promoting gender equality and human rights, with a special focus on addressing the rights of women and adolescents as well as marginalized population groups, in line with the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action (PoA), the Beijing Platform for Action, and the Sustainable Development Goals and other global, regional and national frameworks related to UNFPA’s mandate and mission in Nepal.
S/he provides technical leadership and policy advice on gender equality, human rights, gender-based violence, harmful practices, reproductive rights, and social inclusion, and promotes inter-linkages within the gender portfolio of projects and among other programmes in the areas of adolescents/youth and population dynamics, building capacities of staff and partners to incorporate an intersectionality lens across all programme areas.
Under the overall guidance of the Representative, you will report directly to the Deputy Representative.

How you can make a difference:

UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. UNFPA’s strategic plan focuses on three transformative results: to end preventable maternal deaths; end unmet need for family planning; and end gender-based violence and harmful practices.

In a world where fundamental human rights are at risk, we need principled and ethical staff, who embody these international norms and standards, and who will defend them courageously and with full conviction.

UNFPA is seeking candidates that transform, inspire and deliver high impact and sustained results; we need staff who uphold the values enshrined in the United Nations Charter, who are transparent, exceptional in how they manage the resources entrusted to them and who commit to deliver excellence in programme results.

Job Purpose:

The UNFPA Strategic Plan embraces the vision set forth in the 2030 Agenda and places the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls as a priority, and as an essential precondition to reaching those furthest behind. This together with UNFPA’s commitments to support the realization of international conventions and resolutions, including the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), ICPD Beyond 2014 Review, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action plus 20 Review, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, UN Security Council Resolution 1325 among others, confirm that gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls is at the heart of UNFPA’s work, both as a stand-alone dedicated area of work and from an integrated/mainstreaming approach.

In Nepal, women have long experienced high levels of poverty, social exclusion, marginalization and violence because of their gender. One in four ever married women have experienced spousal physical, sexual, or emotional violence. Social norms that value men and boys over women and girls deny equal opportunities to women and girls and result in a range of harmful practices, including child marriage and gender-biased sex selection. Evidence shows that vulnerabilities of women and adolescents are exacerbated during crisis situations, heightening their risk to gender-based violence. For women from ethnic minorities and groups considered low caste and those living with disabilities, these disadvantages are greatly compounded, making them the most left behind.

To advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, UNFPA contributes to strengthening policy, legal and accountability frameworks. This includes support for policies and programmes and human rights mechanisms that protect the rights women and girls, promote equal opportunities for women and girls, and end all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls and other marginalized groups.

UNFPA implements comprehensive programmes to change underlying social norms that impede eliminating gender discriminatory practices, including gender-based violence and harmful practices. In Nepal, UNFPA manages a portfolio of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Harmful Practices programmes including the flagship GBV Prevention and Response (GBVPR) programme and other projects that focus on ending child marriage, son preference, gender biased sex selection and comprehensive sexuality education.

As the lead agency for gender-based violence area of responsibility under the Global Protection Cluster, UNFPA plays a prominent inter-agency role and supports multi-sectoral capacity building and the use of a continuum approach in development and humanitarian settings to address GBV. All these programmes are closely linked to UNFPA-supported interventions to advance reproductive rights in the country, supported by efforts to improve population data systems to map and address inequalities and improve the availability of sex-disaggregated data across the country.

The GEHR Specialist is entrusted with the responsibility of engaging in advocacy and policy dialogue for concerted actions by the national counterparts, UN system and other development partners, and civil society organizations and networks on issues related to gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, with a special focus on GBV prevention and response and addressing harmful practices. S/he will provide technical assistance and build partnerships to leverage financial and technical resources for accelerated achievement of UNFPA’s transformative programme goals. S/he will support the work on gender equality, gender-based violence and harmful practices and will engage with UNFPA staff working across thematic teams and at provincial and local level. S/he will be expected to establish, nurture and participate in national and sub-national networks in this field.

Main Tasks & Responsibilities

You will be responsible for:

A. Policy Dialogue and Technical Leadership

  • Leads the positioning of UNFPA on gender equality, women’s rights and inclusivity within broader national development and humanitarian agendas.
  • Engages in policy dialogue with the Government, UN system and other development partners to incorporate the needs and rights of women and girls into national policies, strategies and plans, and within UN system wide initiatives and frameworks.
  • Promotes awareness of the critical role of the ICPD PoA in the achievement of Agenda 2030 in high-level meetings, conferences and other fora.
  • Keeps abreast of policy and legal developments that affect gender equality and women’s rights and prepares analysis on the implications for the work of UNFPA.
  • Identifies policy gaps in the fulfilment of women’s rights including reproductive rights and translates knowledge gained from programming into policy recommendations.
  • Facilitates the conduct of in-depth gender and human rights analyses of trends, threats and risks that may negatively impact the achievement of the ICPD agenda and advances strategic approaches to respond to these trends.
  • Represents UNFPA in technical fora of government, civil society and academic institutions as well as of other technical agencies and partners.
  • Provides technical leadership on gender equality and women’s rights, with a special focus on addressing GBV and harmful practices in development and humanitarian contexts in the country.
  • Actively promotes, nurtures and participates in relevant networks and coalitions related to gender equality and social inclusion, gender-based violence and harmful practices.
  • Provides vision, direction and technical guidance to the positioning of gender equality and women’s rights at the federal, provincial and local level, including in policies, strategies, plans and programmes in development and humanitarian contexts.
  • Ensures state-of-the-art thinking and research is integrated within UNFPA’s gender and reproductive rights portfolios, incorporating an intersectionality lens and an integrated approach across all other thematic areas of work.
  • Provides technical guidance on rights-based, gender-centric and inclusive programming that takes into consideration intersecting identities such as caste, race, gender, sexuality and other individual characteristics to reach women and girls that are furthest behind.
  • Leads UNFPA’s contributions to the CEDAW, CRC and UPR reporting processes in the country to ensure issues relating to the ICPD PoA are addressed and the interlinkages between gender equality, human’s rights, GBV and reproductive rights are established and reflected in the reports.

B. Advocacy and Resource Mobilization

  • Promotes UNFPA’s comparative substantive role and contributions in advancing gender equality and women’s rights, with a special focus on GBV and harmful practices in the national development and humanitarian contexts.
  • Advocates for increases in national and sub-national budgetary allocations and expenditures for gender equality and women’s rights to leverage financing for the ICPD agenda and to ensure the sustainability of interventions.
  • Collects, analyzes and synthesizes information/data and experiences on programme priorities to be used in advocacy efforts and for resource mobilization.
  • Contributes technical inputs to communication materials for advocating for gender equality and women’s rights, with a focus on addressing all forms of violence against women and girls and the realization of reproductive rights as essential for sustainable development.
  • Provides inputs to content for visibility of UNFPA’s work and achievements on gender-based violence, child marriage, gender-biased sex selection, and comprehensive sexuality education including for the development of briefs, reports, press releases and social media.
  • Identifies potential funding opportunities, including from public and private sectors.
  • Develops concept notes, proposals for funding that are innovative and demonstrate potential for high impact as well as UNFPA’s comparative substantive role.
  • Maintains partnerships with donors, keeping them regularly updated on implementation, in coordination with the project team lead and senior management.

C. Programme Management and Coordination

  • Leads the formulation of the gender component of the UNFPA supported country programme and projects, ensuring selected interventions position UNFPA as a thought leader in gender equality and women’s right, promote gender mainstreaming, integration of social norms change strategies, and an inclusivity lens across all areas of programme in UNFPA.
  • Provides programme leadership in the management of the gender, harmful practices, and comprehensive sexuality education programmes and other relevant programmes and projects supported by UNFPA including strategic guidance and support for work plans development, implementation and monitoring as needed.
  • Works with the UNFPA implementing partners, experts, government counterparts and other UN system agencies in the design and efficient delivery of policy and programme interventions, promoting approaches grounded in gender equality and social inclusion.
  • Ensures results-based monitoring and reporting under the gender portfolio.
  • Actively participates in relevant UN inter-agency and development partners working groups and consultative processes, as needed.
  • Anticipates, plans and leads life-saving women’s and girls’ protection humanitarian response interventions, ensuring adequate attention given to the needs of women and girls during emergencies in collaboration with the humanitarian team.
  • Guides and mobilizes support for the provincial and local policy and programme operations and supports the UNFPA gender teams at sub-national level to ensure effective upstream engagement, programme delivery and coordination, as needed.
  • Promotes the use of state-of-the-art technical knowledge, evidence, lessons learned, and success stories and ensures their use to improve the effectiveness of UNFPA support programme interventions.
  • Contributes to capacity development activities in gender equality and human rights for UNFPA staff and UNFPA implementing partners.
  • Manages programme and support staff, supervises consultants and facilitates working groups and task teams, as needed.

D. Knowledge Management

  • Leads the analysis and synthesis of substantive trends, emerging needs and research findings in the country in order to produce new, cutting edge technical knowledge.
  • Contributes to the documentation of lessons learned and best practices related to UNFPA’s work in gender equality and women’s empowerment.
  • Identifies and participates in communities of practice related to gender equality and women’s rights and shares new approaches with UNFPA staff and partners.
  • Supports other substantive and programme areas as well as sub-national capacities in UNFPA to mainstream gender and human rights into all programme approaches and interventions including in emergency preparedness and response plans.
    Carry out any other duties as may be required by UNFPA leadership.

Qualifications and Experience


  • Advanced degree in Gender Studies, Human Rights, Law, Public Policy, Development Studies or related disciplines.

Knowledge and Experience:

  • At least five years of increasingly responsible professional experience at the advisory/managerial level in managing gender and/or human rights programmes;
  • Demonstrable technical expertise in gender equality, including knowledge of gender-based violence and harmful practices;
  • Strong understanding of women’s rights and gender equality dimensions and inclusion in policy and programme formulation, implementation and monitoring;
  • Proven experience in coordinating/managing a team of staff, experts and consultants;
  • Familiarity in communicating in a clear and articulated manner, technical and/or complex issues to different types of audiences;
  •  Demonstrated ability to network within the development sector, including with civil society;
  • Demonstrated experience in coordination and liaison with government counterparts, NGOs, UN agencies, private sector, development partners and CBOs.
  • Possess excellent interpersonal, negotiating, intercultural communication skills, and political acumen;
  •  Ability to work independently and in culturally diverse teams
  • Working experience in the humanitarian setting is an asset.


  • Proficiency in English and Nepali is required. Working knowledge of another UN language an asset.

Required Competencies


  •  Exemplifying integrity
  • Demonstrating commitment to UNFPA and the UN system
  • Embracing diversity in all its forms
  • Embracing change

Core Competencies:

  • Achieving Results
  • Being Accountable
  • Developing and Applying Professional Expertise/Business Acumen
  • Thinking analytically and Strategically
  • Working in Teams/Managing Ourselves and our Relationships
  • Communicating for Impact

Functional Competencies:

  • Advocacy/ Advancing a policy-oriented agenda
  • Leveraging the resources of national governments and partners/ building strategic alliances and partnerships
  • Delivering results-based programme
  • Internal and external communication and advocacy for results mobilisation

Managerial Competencies:

  • Providing strategic focus,
  • Engaging in internal/external partners and stakeholders,
  • Leading, developing and empowering people, creating a culture of performance
  • Making decisions and exercising judgment

UNFPA Work Environment

UNFPA provides a work environment that reflects the values of gender equality, teamwork, Embracing diversity in all its forms, integrity and a healthy balance of work and life. We are committed to maintaining our balanced gender distribution and therefore encourage women to apply. UNFPA promotes equal opportunities for all including persons with disabilities.


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