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POSITION TITLE| :Women’s rights legal expert attachment to parliament
Terms of Reference
Women’s rights legal expert attachment to parliament
ActionAid International Somaliland (AAIS) and Women Action for Advocacy & Progress Organization (WAAPO) are seeking a consultant to act as a Women’s Rights legal expert to be attached to Parliament. This placement is a key activity of the project: ‘Empowering Communities to Abandon FGM/C in Somaliland,’ implemented by ActionAid in partnership with Somaliland Women Development Association (SOWDA) and Women Action for Advocacy & Progress Organization (WAAPO).
The consultant will be required to provide Parliament with technical support and resource in order to further expedite the anti-FGM/C legislation currently in draft, including the anti-medicalisation and civic education FGM/C policies.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM/C) does not only have health, emotional and social consequences, it is a form of violence and a human right concern against women and girls. FGM/C is a vaguely understood traditional practice often associated with tradition-bound cultures. FGM/C urgently needs to be addressed as it is one of the most extreme manifestations of violence against women and girls.
Bringing an end to FGM/C requires simultaneous changes in attitudes and behaviour at all levels of society. This project is based on the premise that by initiating greater dialogue and awareness on the issue within safe spaces at all levels (from youth groups to within the Ministry of Religious Affairs), stakeholders can gain greater understanding and knowledge of the subject.
As attitudes begin to change and confidence to challenge it grows, the debate will increasingly be taken to public spaces (through community conversations to media coverage of national events).
By opening up the debate and challenging attitudes, stakeholders at all levels will increasingly feel able to speak out and to publicly challenge FGM/C.
At the national level, there is political will to put in place anti-FGM/C legislation, but this is hampered by a lack of common understanding on the religious significance of different forms of FGM, the sensitivity of the issue, and lack of public debate that might otherwise bring about change.
Religious leaders need to clarify to the public that there is no religious justification for FGM/C and stem the move to ‘Sunna’, by engaging in public discussion to dispel myths and denounce all forms of FGM/C.
Currently there is no approved policy and no laws in place in Somaliland on FGM/C. However FGM/C is mentioned specifically in the Republic of Somaliland’s:
National Constitution (2001) which under article 36, sub-article 2 states, ‘the Government shall encourage, and shall legislate for, the right of women to be free of practices which are contrary to Sharia and which are injurious to their person and dignity’
Gender Policy (2009) which states ‘the most predominant forms of violence against Somaliland women are traditional practices such as female genital mutilation/cutting and virginity checks’
National Youth Policy (2010-15) which suggests there is a need to ‘sensitize public about the eradication of Female Genital Mutilation and advocate for laws prohibiting it fully’
Whilst these statements strongly oppose FGM/C, they do not define what actually constitutes FGM/C.
The lead ministry on FGM/C strategy and policy development is the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MoLSA). Seven other ministries are involved in the task group on FGM/C, namely, the Ministries of Religious Affairs (MoRA), Health (MoH), Education (MoE), Justice (MoJ), Interior (MoI), Planning (MoP) and Youth (MoY). All support Zero Tolerance with the exception of MoRA.
Work began on the drafting of a National Policy for the Abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM/C Policy) in 2009. However, translation into Somali and further discussion between ministries is required to simplify the policy. The goal of the FGM/C Policy is to accelerate total abandonment of FGM/C in the Republic of Somaliland.
An Anti-FGM/C Bill, grounded firmly in Zero Tolerance, has been drafted with cross-ministerial collaboration. The draft is understood to be in need of refinement through the consultation process.
Moreover the MoH is drafting policy on anti-medicalisation of FGM/C to be submitted for approval by the government, later in 2016. This will fit within the proposed FGM/C policy.
Another complicating factor is the progress of the bills on Quota (representation of women) and Sexual
Offences, which currently does not include FGM/C.
Policy makers therefore need to be supported to introduce laws and policies which send a clear message about the illegality on FGM/C and which ensure it is not legitimized through medicalization.
The legal expert will provide the Parliament with technical support and capacity in order to expedite the anti-FGM/C bill, the Anti-Medicalisation policy, and translate the FGM/C policy into Somali version, through the relevant legislative processes. Moreover, the specific objectives are:
To build the capacity (knowledge, skills and experience) of parliament members in women rights, and more specifically violence against women and girls and FGM/C.
To identify and agree with all relevant stakeholders an action plan to achieve the finalization and passing of the above policies and bills.
To identify key government stakeholders, and potential WR advocates and together develop a strategy to influence the political process from within Government thus is not seen as merely a women matter and external actors pursuing western agenda.
To provide technical expertise, and inputs where needed into the finalization of the relevant legislation, alongside active facilitation of the process.
To equip and guide policy makers for the promotion and implementation of the Anti-Medicalisation and Civic Education draft FGM/C/C policies.
To influence MORA and position as a experts in turn to maintain MORA role dedication to anti-FGM/C legislation in the passing of policies and laws through the legislative process.
The target beneficiaries are the Parliament and Government, to provide them with the technical support and resources to pass the anti-FGM/C legislation. The recruitment of the consultant will support the line ministries and parliament social welfare committee.
The consultant is expected to gather information, review documentation and attend meetings and coordinate consultation between stakeholders that are involved directly or indirectly with the policy process.
The consultant will monitor parliamentary publication on women’s right such as printed transcripts, reports, regulations and legislation and committee enquiries to recognize the gaps that have prevented the passing of the anti-FGM/C legislation. Furthermore, Provisional approval of submitted deliverables shall take place at each of the defined milestones shown in the delivery schedule.
Scope of work
The consultant will work towards the legal framework connected to women’s right and the discriminative provisions against women considering the approved convention and treaties. Moreover, the consultant will use his/her expertise to influence the Parliament and provide technical support and resources to pass the Anti-FGM/C legislation as well the anti-Medicalisation, civic education draft, FGM/C policies.
The consultant will present the outcome of the research which will be used to inform the elected members of the Parliament on the amendments needed to enhance compliance of the Somaliland constitution with the relevant women’s rights international conventions and treaties.
The consultant will review and focus on the following:
Policies and laws related to women’s rights
Policies and law related to Anti-FGM/C legislation
Law related to reproductive health
The Penal law (violence and harassment)
The Anti-Medicalisation policy
The expected deliverables are:
Inception report, including strategy, objectives and work plan for the 12 month attachment should be submitted within 1 month of the inception of the placement. This should include a brief analysis of the content, current status and progress of all FGM/C related draft policies with the parliament.
Baseline data and evaluation (post capacity building interventions) of Parliamentarians knowledge of women’s rights under international and domestic law. The baseline data should be presented in a summary report no later than 2 months after the inception of the placement.
Once finalized a copy of the action plan agreed with all stakeholders / ministries to achieve the finalization and passing of the above policies and bills
Monthly progress report and analysis on progress against strategy / work plan, on the understanding of parliament members regarding women rights and FGM/C, and on the progress of the relevant legislation.
Quarterly analysis on the % of Parliamentarians who are supportive of efforts to enact legalization eradicating FGM and agree its enactment.
FGM/C policy translated Somali version.
The consultant will be recruited for 12 months and will work in the first year of the project for xx months and the second year of the project the first xx months. The consultant will be recruited in September 2016, and will be based in Maroodi-Jeex and will work closely with WAAPO and MOLSA.
The consultant will be based in Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and will report directly to WAAPO Project Officer, Head of Gender Unit of MoLSA, and Project Manager of ActionAid Somaliland. The organization will present the relevant background information and necessary documents required for the assignment.
Masters degree in law. Bachelors degree in law with other appropriate discipline with minimum 7 years of experience.
At least five years professional experience in policy development and legal drafting
Expert in women’s rights, with significant experience in violence against women and girls and FGM/C. Background
Experience in engaging with parliament, government officials, and external stakeholders to support and develop regulatory and policy work.
Demonstrable experience of drafting policy briefing papers , reports and briefings for a range of audiences
Experience of developing and delivering comprehensive capacity building programmes with parliament members and government officials.
Skills and Competencies liaison
Ability to analyse the evidence base and develop new policy including supporting the management of research And ability to analyze a range of data and reach sound conclusions
Excellent drafting skills – able to write complex policy analysis and consultation documents.
Competent research skills and writing skills
W-organized and analytical
Capable of maintaining strong, robust and influential relationships with approved regulators and other stakeholders.
Interested individual consultants must submit the following documents/information to demonstrate their qualifications.
A Curriculum Vitae
Clear proposal for implementing the assignment.
Please quote “Legal Expert” on the subject line. Applications should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org to reach us not later than 03-10-2016 at 4.00 P.M.
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