Program Officer, Legal Equality (Africa) - Equality Now
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Program Officer, Legal Equality (Africa)

Equality Now seeks a Program Officer based in Nairobi, Kenya to strengthen existing legislation and policies and enforce implementation of existing legislation to end human rights abuses perpetrated against women and girls. 

ABOUT US

Founded in 1992, Equality Now fights for the protection and promotion of the human rights of women and girls around the world through legal advocacy. Working with grassroots women’s and human rights organizations and individual activists, Equality Now documents violence and discrimination against women and mobilizes national and international action to support efforts to stop these abuses. The organization’s work is focused on four main program areas: Legal Equality, End Sexual Violence, End Harmful Practices, and End Sex Trafficking.

With offices in New York, London, Nairobi and Beirut and a presence in Jordan, India, Georgia and Washington, D.C., Equality Now has a staff of 48 and is governed by an 11-member Board of Directors, a 6-member UK Trustees group and a 6-member Africa Board.

SCOPE OF WORK

The goal of the Legal Equality Program is to achieve legal equality between women and men, girls and boys. By highlighting and championing individual cases, governments are held accountable for enacting and enforcing laws and policies that uphold the rights of women and girls. 

Equality Now’s Africa Office serves as the Secretariat of the Solidarity for African Women’s Rights (SOAWR) Coalition, a network of 63 civil society organizations based in 32 countries which was formed in 2004 to ensure that the Maputo Protocol came into force. SOAWR’s main area of focus has been to advocate for African States to urgently sign, ratify, domesticate and implement the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (the Maputo Protocol).

Objective:

To hold governments accountable, through continental and regional political and economic bodies, to commitments they have made under international and regional treaties, as well as the Beijing Platform for Action, the Sustainable Development Goals, and other instruments for sex equality and ending violence against women and girls, including by revoking or amending any remaining laws we highlight as discriminating on the basis of sex and/or promoting violence against women and girls.

The main focus of the role is strengthening national and regional partners with evidence-based knowledge and capacity to assess gaps, draft new and/or strengthen existing legislation and policies and enforce implementation of existing legislation ending sexual and gender-based violence, female genital mutilation and child marriage that are in line with international human rights standards and treaty body recommendations.

Role:

The PO-Legal Equality (A) will play a pivotal role in coordinating and developing Equality Now’s work to further the Legal Equality Program’s work and the implementation and use of the African Women’s Rights (Maputo) Protocol across the Continent. This role will specifically support the strengthening of existing strategies and initiatives, such as the AU Gender Strategy 2017 - 2027, Agenda 2030, Agenda 2063, the Maputo Plan of Action on the Operationalization of the Continental Policy Framework for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (2016-2030), The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (the Maputo Protocol), the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, the AU Roadmap on Harnessing the Demographic Dividend, the African Youth Charter (2006); and the Common Position on Ending Child Marriage in Africa (2015) among others.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Working with Regional Bodies and their Member States to End Violence against Women and Girls including to:

  • Support organizational efforts towards mapping and assessing the status of implementation and enforcement of global and regional human rights instruments, laws and policies, action plans, financing and capacity to deliver on ending violence against women and girls (EVAWG) among Regional Partners and their member states. This responsibility includes the following:
    •   Support the assessment of the status of domestication and enforcement of global and regional human rights instruments on women’s rights and gender equality including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and Maputo Protocol, and other relevant treaties;
    • Support the assessment of the progress on development and implementation of national action plans (NAPs) and investments in ending violence against women and girls (EVAWG).
  • Support the capacity enhancement of Regional Partners (such as the African Union Commission (AUC), Regional Economic Communities (RECs), relevant regional and continental parliaments and parliamentary associations, Civil Society Organizations and Member States to draft, review, implement and report on laws and policies on ending violence against women and girls (EVAWG).
  • Support the capacity enhancement of Regional Partners on drafting and reviewing laws and policies to influence member states to accelerate the ratification and domestication of regional and global human rights instruments related to eliminating violence against women and girls (EVAWG) and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
  • Support capacity building initiatives entailing designing of training materials and training of relevant staff of the Regional Partners to draft, review, implement and monitor human rights regional instruments on eliminating violence against women and girls (EVAWG).
  • Work with relevant departments of Regional Partners to influence ratification, domestication and enforcement of human rights regional instruments on eliminating violence against women and girls and sexual and reproductive health and rights.
  • Coordinating and working closely with the SOAWR Coalition, of which Equality Now’s Africa Office is the Secretariat, as guided by the Legal Advisor for Africa. Ensuring clear and consistent communication and coordination with relevant SOAWR member representatives particularly in relation to working with regional bodies and their member states to end violence against women and girls.

Legal Equality

  • Keeping abreast of human rights issues affecting women and girls in Africa, particularly regarding the above objective and focus areas.
  • Researching and preparing evidence on discrimination for national and regional advocacy and lobbying activities in Africa.
  • Establishing and maintaining contacts with organizations campaigning for the respect and promotion of women’s and human rights.
  • Coordinating advocacy actions with Legal Equality’s partners.
  • Coordinating and working closely with the Legal Advisor for Africa and all other teams (particularly End Sexual Violence and End Harmful Practices teams). Ensuring clear and consistent communication and coordination with relevant Global Leads and the other campaign teams particularly in relation to regional emerging trends or opportunities in relation to their program goals.
  • Contributing to the drafting of high-quality technical submissions to public consultations (e.g. on draft laws, policy, etc.) and human rights treaty bodies and mechanisms (e.g. UN CEDAW Committee, African Commission).
  • Contributing to the collection, collation and analysis of Equality Now’s monitoring and evaluation data to inform learning and action to end discrimination against women and girls and promote protections.
  • Contributing to generating Equality Now actions and alerts on campaigns against violations of women’s rights in Africa, particularly as relevant to Equality Now’s Legal Equality work.
  • Develop annual and quarterly milestones and document progress in the Campaign Tracker and relevant reports.

Media and Communications

  • Collaborate with Equality Now’s media and communications teams to provide content emerging from our work in Africa.

Other duties as reasonably requested

  • Participate in and contribute to Equality Now staff meetings including relevant thematic groups’ discussions.

Supervision

  • Supervise consultants, fellows and interns as required.

Team membership

  • Member of the Legal Equality team and the Rights of Women in Africa Campaign.

SKILLS AND COMPETENCIES

Required

  • A law degree, or a master’s degree in gender/women’s rights, international law/human rights law or equivalent experience.
  • Three+ years’ experience in working on human rights issues or working with women’s movements in campaigning on advocacy regionally in Africa or internationally with specific experience focusing on using internal human rights instruments to protect the rights of women and girls.
  • Knowledge and experience of working in / with coalitions.
  • Experience in extensive policy work.
  • Knowledge of the African human rights system, the African Union.
  • Excellent analytical, conceptual, writing and editing skills and use of computer software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc.).
  • Excellent communication and advocacy skills.
  • Excellent training and facilitation skills.
  • A deep profound understanding of and commitment to gender equality in the law.
  • Fluent written and spoken English required. Fluent written and spoken French would be an added advantage.
  • Excellent interpersonal and networking skills.
  • Ability to take initiative and work independently with a focus on achieving results.
  • Strong teamwork – working within and across campaigns, program and geographical boundaries.
  • Strong planning and organization skills and proven ability to steer and monitor progress against plans and adjust plans in order to deliver on set goals and results.

Desirable

  • Budgeting and financial management.
  • Connection to existing networks with feminist and women’s rights organizations in Africa.
  • Experience engaging with the media in Africa.

Salary

Commensurate with experience

Application Process

To apply: Send your CV, cover letter and writing sample to [email protected] by 15th January 2021 with Program Officer, Legal Equality (Africa) in the subject line. No calls please. Applicants must have the right to live and work in Kenya.

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