Terms of Reference

Background and Context

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.

UN Women engagements globally are guided by the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (PFA). The UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, adopted in 2000, is of particular importance for fragile states as it recognized that war impact women differently, and reaffirmed the need to increase women’s role in decision-making with regard to conflict resolution and prevention. Six consequent additional resolutions on women, peace and security were added, together representing a critical framework for improving the situation of women in fragile and conflict affected countries. Also, the Millennium Declaration and Millennium Development Goals set time-bound and measurable targets to promote gender equality. Through the strengthening of regional and country offices, UN Women’s highest priority is to ensure the capacity of UN Country Teams (UNCTs) and the UN Resident Coordinator system to advance gender equality.

UN Women’s revised Strategic Note 2017 – 2019 defines a programmatic focus on ‘Women, Peace and Security’. To this end, UN Women is a partner in the United Nations Joint Programme on Rule of Law in Somalia, and is currently designing a new Joint Programme on ‘Human Rights, Women, Peace and Security’. The Joint Programme on Rule of Law focuses on building the justice system at the national level, and includes efforts of building a local level court and security structure. Under the programme, UN Women is mainly implementing activities relating to increasing women’s access to justice and protection. As one of the efforts funded by the MPTFs in Somalia, UN Women also provides overall strategic advice and technical support to programming. To this end, under the Joint programme on Enablers, with support from Denmark, UN Women provides background analysis and research. The Joint Programme on ‘Human Rights, Women, Peace and Security’ will focus on the societal and political issues that prevent women from accessing Somalia’s plural legal systems and security institutions.

Most recently, new areas in Somalia have been made accessable and caretaker administrations have been installed. It is at present unclear who in those areas provides justice and security to the population. This particularly counts for justice and protection for the more vulnerable population, often including women. Given the pertinent lack of knowledge, it is challenging to adjust and design programming that addresses the particular needs of women in these areas. Furthermore, the Ministry for Gender and Human Rights Development and the Ministry of Interior have both voiced concerns about how women fare in those newly liberated areas, and have requested for help from UN Women in developing approaches. Following this request, UN Women had commissioned a pilot study on women’s access to justice and security in Southern Somalia, which informed the discussion on Women, Peace and Security at the last High-Level Partnership Forum on Somalia in Turkey, in February 2016. To further deepen its understanding of the issues, UN Women is planning to commission a follow-up in-depth study on women’s access to justice and security in a variety of rural and urban areas accross Somalia.

Purpose and Objective of the Study

The purpose of this study is to help fill the significant knowledge gap in respect to how women’s experience in accessing formal and informal justice systems, and to inform governmental and donor approaches in justice and security sector reform, especially in the frame of the two Joint Programmes on ‘Rule of Law’ and ‘Human Rights, Women, Peace and Security’.

The main objectives of the request for proposals are to identify a firm/company that can;

a) Create in-depth knowledge of the dynamics of women’s access to justice and security in at least three different areas of Somalia;

b) Help develop approaches for women’s access to justice and security in order to mitigate the challenges women face.

The data gathering process should be based on in-depth field research in selected locations of Somalia and on appropriate methodologies for data gathering.

The selected organization will work in close collaboration with UN Women’s Research Coordinator and under the guidance of the Country Program Manager.

Scope of Work and Responsibilities

The scope of work is to:

  1. Develop a methodology for data gathering on women’s access to justice and security in at least three different areas of Somalia (including key research questions, research methods and time line).

  2. Implement the research activities in close coordination with UN Women’s Research Coordinator

  3. Present the research data at a Brown Bag Lunch.

  4. Draft a final publishable research report presenting the key findings.


The Organization is expected to deliver the following outputs:

  1. Prepare an inception report within 2 weeks of signing the contract, consisting of a workplan with detailed timelines for undertaking the assignment, and a methodology for conducting the study;
  2. Provide bi-weekly written updates on progress, challenges and proposed solutions
  3. Presentation of a draft research report
  4. Submission of a final report at the end of the assignment LCZsaxhh

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