Consultancy: Engagement Guidelines on Women's Rights and Gender Equality

Equality Now seeks a consultant to develop CSO guidelines for engagement with African Union Member States on women's rights and gender equality.


About the Solidarity for African Women’s Rights (SOAWR) Coalition

The Solidarity for African Women’s Rights (SOAWR) is a Coalition of over 60 organizations working on women’s rights in 30 countries in Africa. SOAWR was formed in 2004, with the principal objective of advocating for the adoption, ratification, domestication and implementation of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (the Maputo Protocol).

About Equality Now

Equality Now, whose Africa Office serves as the Secretariat for the SOAWR Coalition, is an international human rights organization working towards creating a society that is equal and just for women and girls all over the world. Equality Now’s work focuses on addressing systemic, multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and inequalities that continue to plague women and girls, especially those from vulnerable and marginalized backgrounds. Equality Now strives to hold governments responsible for ending legal inequality, sex trafficking, sexual violence and harmful practices, such as female genital mutilation (FGM) and "child marriage". Equality Now works at the international, regional and national levels, with regional offices in New York, London, Beirut and Nairobi.


At the beginning of 2020, the SOAWR Coalition adopted its Strategic Plan 2020-2024 (the Strategic Plan). The Strategic Plan seeks to consolidate on the gains made over the past years, secure greater domestication, implementation and domestication of the Maputo Protocol and ensure a stronger coalition on women’s rights advocates in the continent. The Strategic Plan seeks to contribute to the African Union’s All for Maputo Protocol Programme. SOAWR’s theory of change envisions lobbying and partnership with governments and regional bodies in Africa to put in place progressive policies, laws and procedures and repeal retrogressive ones in line with regional and international human rights commitments, leading to sustainable changes in behaviour, protection and promotion of women’s rights. The SOAWR campaign over the next five years seeks to ensure that the Maputo Protocol remains a central policy instrument for the pursuit of women’s and girls’ rights in Africa by accelerating its ratification in countries where this has not been done, and pursuing domestication, implementation and accountability in countries where ratification has occurred.


The All for Maputo Protocol Programme, requires effective engagement between the African Union (AU) member states and non-state actors, including women’s rights organizations on the Continent. The SOAWR members, each having committed to implementing the Coalition’s Strategic Plan 2020-2024, will undertake several engagements with state actors at the national, regional and continental levels with the aim of advocating for the full ratification, domestication and implementation of the Maputo Protocol. In order to do so effectively, the SOAWR Coalition wishes to engage a qualified consultant(s) to develop the guidelines that SOAWR members and other civil society organisations can use to effectively and successfully engage member states of the AU. Additionally, the Coalition recognizes that its members have varied capabilities and technical capacities and expertise in state engagements and thus intends to carry out training of its members in line with the guidelines, once developed.

Scope of Work

(a) Purpose and objectives

SOAWR seeks to engage a consultant(s) to develop CSO guidelines for state engagement on women’s rights in Africa.

The overall objective of the consultancy will be to enhance SOAWR members’ capacity to effectively engage AU member states on ratification, domestication, implementation and accountability for the Maputo Protocol.

 The consultant(s) is required to:

  • Review and familiarize themselves with the SOAWR Strategic Plan 2020-2024 and all the documents pertaining to the All for Maputo Protocol Programme.
  • Assess the capacities and technical expertise of SOAWR members with regards to engagement with state actors.
  • Develop a work plan with clear deliverable outcomes, indicators and tools for the assignment.
  • Develop the “CSO Guidelines for State Engagement on Women’s Rights in Africa”
  • Develop cheat sheets (with concise tips for quick reference), checklists and any other relevant materials to support CSOs effective engagement with Member States.
  • Prepare training modules and carry out training of SOAWR members and other CSOs on engaging the AU member states on the rights of women in Africa.

(b) Audience and use

  • SOAWR Coalition members
  • CSOs particularly women’s rights organizations

(c) Timeframe

The CSO Guidelines development should begin on 30th November 2020 and run for a maximum of 20 consulting days. It is intended that the training of SOAWR members and CSO representatives will take place in the first quarter of 2021.

Eligibility (Skills and experience)

  • Advanced degree in law, international relations, gender, political science or other relevant field.
  • At least 7 years’ experience in human rights advocacy at national, regional and international levels.
  • Demonstrable personal experience in engaging with regional and international human rights treaty bodies.
  • Demonstrable experience in high-level policy engagement with AU member states and AU organs.
  • Demonstrable knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the social, political economic and other dynamics that frame the women’s rights landscape in Africa.
  • Demonstrable working experience on women’ rights in Africa is desirable.
  • Previous experience working with State agencies on policy and treaty negotiations, ratifications, domestication, implementation and monitoring will be an added advantage.

Application Process

The consultant should email a detailed proposal outlining their approach, with a budget and timeline, samples of relevant work and CV/credentials to: [email protected] and copy to [email protected]  by 11:59 pm EAT on Friday, 15th January 2021. Please indicate the subject of your email as “SOAWR CSO Guidelines Consultant