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Gender in Humanitarian Action (GiHA) Coordination and Access Specialist


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Job Description

2 Year
Male, Female, Both
Master Degree


UN Women, grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; the empowerment of women; and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security.

Afghanistan has emerged as one of the world’s most complex emergencies. The crisis dynamics in the country are multi-layered, and Afghanistan’s people are facing the devastating effects of successive decades of conflict, increasing poverty, economic decline and natural disasters, all of which are amplified by the ongoing Taliban restrictions on women and girls. As per the Humanitarian Response Plan 2024, 23.7 million Afghans – more than half of the country’s estimated population of 42 million – are projected to be in need of humanitarian assistance in 2024.

The UN Women Afghanistan Country Office is working actively to provide strategic leadership and technical support to ensure the humanitarian response fully responds to the specific needs and priorities of women and girls through gender-responsive humanitarian architecture as well as targeted programming. Within the worsening humanitarian context in Afghanistan and multiple restrictions on women’s rights and movement, including the bans on women humanitarian workers and women CSOs, additional emphasis is being placed on monitoring, mapping and mitigating operational impediments that challenge principled humanitarian access to women and girls. UN Women has been in Afghanistan for two decades. UN Women’s programming approach is informed by analysis of the political, economic and humanitarian situation, risks to and capacities of partner organizations, and needs of Afghan women and girls. UN Women Afghanistan currently has four key programme priorities: (1) Gender in Humanitarian Action, (2) Ending Violence Against Women, (3) Women’s Economic Empowerment, and (4) Women, Peace and Security. UN Women Afghanistan operates through its main office in Kabul and five sub-offices located in the provinces Balkh, Bamyan, Herat, Kandahar and Nangarhar.

Within the Gender in Humanitarian Action coordination mandate, UN Women is the permanent co-chair of the Gender in Humanitarian Action Working Group (GiHA WG) and works closely with its co-chair, CARE International, to provide technical, advisory and programmatic support to the HCT and the Inter-Cluster Coordination Team (ICCT). The GiHA WG is accountable to and reports to the HCT and provides close collaboration, communication and coordination across clusters and technical working groups, in Kabul and in the regions, to ensure gender analysis and advocacy are adequately coordinated, disseminated, and utilized, through the ICCT coordinated by OCHA, including for strategic planning purposes such as Humanitarian Needs and Response Plan (HNRP) and broad response strategies and humanitarian programming modalities.

Under the overall guidance of the Special Representative and working closely with the programme managers and heads of sub-offices, the GiHA Coordination and Access Specialist will lead the work of the GiHA working group, actively participate in the Humanitarian Access Working Group (HAWG) and provide UN Women programmes with emergency scale up and access support, including through engagement with de facto authorities. The role aims to provide capacity building to humanitarian actors, establish and strengthen partnerships with stakeholders, and develop data-driven relevant knowledge products on humanitarian action, including the development of gender analysis/alerts for the GiHA WG, as well as mapping gendered access issues and supporting ACO in navigating these, while increasing its contribution to the humanitarian response. The GiHA coordination and access specialist works closely with all programme teams as well as with interagency humanitarian groups and systems to ensure timely gender coordination support.


Duties and Responsibilities

Provide leadership and secretariat support to the GiHA Working Group:

  • Lead monthly meetings of the working group and its strategic advisory group
  • Lead secretariat function of the working group
  • Provide support to local GiHA WGs at the regional level to ensure their establishment and operationality across Afghanistan
  • Provide GiHA WG members including women-led organizations, clusters, and donor representatives, with relevant information on gender issues in humanitarian action and gender and access restrictions

Provide capacity-building support to the Humanitarian Country Team, ICCT and clusters, technical working groups, and humanitarian partners:

  • Provide substantive technical and strategic support to cluster response plans
  • Implement and monitor capacity-building initiatives, such as gender analysis and gender and age marker training, gender and access training for clusters and partners;
  • Provide technical support to humanitarian partners on the implementation of gender-responsive programming in humanitarian action

Develop GiHA WG data-driven knowledge products and ensure knowledge management for a gender-responsive humanitarian response:

  • During emergency response, develop and implement communication and advocacy messages and contribute inputs to strategies on key gender concerns;
  • Develop information, education, and communication (IEC) materials, press releases, situation reports, and alerts and contribute gender-related inputs to documents prepared by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and other humanitarian partners.
  • Develop data-driven relevant knowledge products such as analytical reports, research papers, briefing notes, background papers, summaries, correspondence, and knowledge products on gender in humanitarian action;
  • Identify promising practices, and technical expertise in gender in humanitarian action, and ensure lessons learned are shared across the humanitarian response

Manage advocacy efforts of the working group through inter-agency coordination:

  • Work closely with and provide advice to interagency groups and relevant stakeholders that influence policies related to humanitarian action;
  • Lead GiHA’s participation and input to the ICCT at the national level and regional levels
  • Participate in access coordination mechanisms, particularly the HAWG, and mainstream gender-responsive access approaches into the overall discussions
  • Oversee the reporting of UN Women’s access constraints into existing IM and coordination systems
  • Coordinate specific efforts in mainstreaming gender in response and recovery efforts of other clusters and relevant working groups, at the national and regional level
  • Advocate for the engagement and participation of women’s organizations in humanitarian coordination mechanisms.
  • Provide support to the Women Advisory Group, including support to its secretariat function.

Provide technical contribution and leadership to UN Women’s access and engagement strategies:

  • Design and implement access strategies across all of UN Women’s areas of work strategies and initiatives, aligned to local contexts, for the expansion of UN Women’s access in provinces across Afghanistan
  • Provide inputs into strategic and program-related documents from an access perspective and mainstream access throughout all thematic portfolios of work
  • Support the ACO management to make informed and strategic decisions relating to humanitarian access and negotiations
  • Working closely with sub-offices to develop access and engagement strategies to increase reach to women beneficiaries
  • Monitor and support reporting of access issues faced by partners and use the analysis to inform entry points for principled access and programming
  • Map access and engagement trends as well as gender-related restrictions in all regions of Afghanistan, working closely with sub-offices
  • Provide support to programme teams and field offices to understand principled access and negotiations
  • Establish and maintain contact with the de facto authorities and relevant stakeholders to facilitate UN Women’s programming interventions.

Establish and strengthen strategic partnerships with key stakeholders, the international community and humanitarian partners:

  • Build and maintain alliances and strategic partnerships for the advancement of gender in humanitarian action;
  • Build and maintain close liaisons with relevant donors and other actors supporting efforts towards gender-responsive humanitarian action, as delegated;
  • Contribute inputs to updates and briefs on country development situation to be used by stakeholders, clusters, CO, RO and HQ;
  • Maintain close contact with relevant staff in UN Women HQ and RO.

Provide technical contributions and leadership to the design of UN Women’s humanitarian interventions to ensure scale up when crises occur:

  • Provide inputs to policy recommendations and guidance to strategic planning and positioning on humanitarian action;
  • Provide support to programme teams and field offices to understand humanitarian coordination structures and response and link up UN Women’s efforts to the humanitarian response
  • Provide hands-on support to scale up programme interventions in the field in times of crisis.

The incumbent performs other duties within their functional profile as deemed necessary for the efficient functioning of the Office and the Organisation.



Core Values:

  • Respect for Diversity
  • Integrity
  • Professionalism

Core Competencies:

  • Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues
  • Accountability
  • Creative Problem Solving
  • Effective Communication
  • Inclusive Collaboration
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Leading by Example

Please visit this link for more information on UN Women’s Values and Competencies Framework: https://www.unwomen.org/sites/default/files/Headquarters/Attachments/Sections/About%20Us/Employment/UN-Women-values-and-competencies-framework-en.pdf

Functional Competencies:

  • Strong knowledge related to current policies and practices in the fields of gender equality, protection, and humanitarian action, including humanitarian coordination;
  • Strong knowledge of the region
  • Strong networking skills
  • Ability to interact with donors, identify and analyze trends, opportunities, and threats to fundraising
  • Ability to perform qualitative and quantitative policy research
  • Ability to advocate and provide policy advice
  • Strong analytical skills;
  • Ability to write policy papers, speeches, and briefings;
  • Strong knowledge of programme development, implementation, results-based management, and reporting.


Required Skills and Experience

Education and certification:

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in human rights, gender, international relations, international development, international law or other social science fields is required.
  • A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


  • At least 7 years of progressively responsible experience in designing and managing humanitarian programmes, with a particular focus on gender and protection in emergencies is required.
  • Technical experience in inter-agency coordination, preferably gender related coordination, some of which should include work around access is required.
  • Understanding of local context, dynamics and access limitations in complex humanitarian contexts is required.
  • Experience in system-wide advocacy, develop and deliver policy analysis and strategic briefings is required.
  • Experience working with, and building partnerships with de facto authorities, governments, donors and civil society organizations internationally and in the field is required.
  • Demonstrated willingness and ability to travel to the field whenever necessary.
  • Experience working in complex humanitarian contexts; experience in Afghanistan strongly preferred.
  • Experience working with the UN is desirable.

Language Requirements:

  • Working knowledge of English
  • Knowledge of another official UN language is desirable (French, Arabic, Chinese, Russian or Spanish).


All applications must include (as an attachment) the completed UN Women Personal History form (P-11) which can be downloaded from Application and recruitment process | About us: Careers at UN Women | UN Women – Headquarters  Kindly note that the system will only allow one attachment. Applications without the completed UN Women P-11 form will be treated as incomplete and will not be considered for further assessment.


In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality, and the Empowerment of Women. The creation of UN Women came about as part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact. It merges and builds on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system (DAW, OSAGI, INSTRAW, and UNIFEM), which focused exclusively on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Inclusion Statement:

At UN Women, we are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. UN Women recruits employs, trains, compensates, and promotes regardless of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, ability, national origin, or any other basis covered by appropriate law. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, competence, integrity, and organizational need.

If you need any reasonable accommodation to support your participation in the recruitment and selection process, please include this information in your application.

UN Women has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UN Women, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority, and discrimination. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to UN Women’s policies and procedures and the standards of conduct expected of UN Women personnel and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. (Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.)


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