Kenya: Desk Study on Women and Violent Extremism in Somalia and the Region

Organization: UN Women
Country: Kenya
Closing date: 17 Oct 2016

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 impacts 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 Sustainable Development Goals set time-bound and measurable targets to promote gender equality.

UN Women’s new Strategic Note 2017 – 2019 defines a programmatic focus on ‘women and security’. UN Women Somalia has been assuming a more strategic role through increased coordination, technical advice, catalytic interventions, advocacy, research, and knowledge management. It is further designing a new Joint Programme together with other UN partners on ‘Human Rights, Women and Security’. The new programme will commence with an in-depth analytical phase in order to better understand human rights, women and security issues. The analytical work will increase understanding of women’s security grievances in the different areas of Somalia; and formal and informal security institutions and authorities aiming to provide security. The knowledge gained in the first phase of the Joint Programme will then form the basis for the design of targeted interventions with the aim to promote women’s access to security on the basis of international human rights standards.

Of particular interest will also be the nexus between women and violent extremism. A recent regional report indicated that women are not only victims of violent extremism, but that some have become active supporters in different ways. The report recommends further analysis on women’s roles in extremism. To date a serious knowledge gap exists on this issue, which makes it difficult to design targeted support to prevent extremism. UN Women is therefore planning to undertake a desk study to better understand what knowledge is available on women’s roles in violent extremism.

UN Women is seeking a consultant to conduct a desk study on Women and Violent Extremism in Somalia and the Region

Purpose and Objective

Increase UN Women’s understanding of women’s roles in violent extremism in Somalia and the Region. The desk study should help frame the different trends and issues in regards to women and violent extremism; how women support violent extremism; what their motivations are; and the most recent trends in Somalia and in the Horn of Africa Region. The results of the study will allow for more detailed and targeted field research and analysis on Countering Violent Extremism under the planned ‘Human Rights, Women and Security’ Joint Programme.

Scope of Work and Responsibilities

The scope of work will be:

  1. Review relevant existing news sources, reports, analytical work and other existing knowledge on Women and Violent Extremism, particularly in Somalia (but also including regional issues of relevance, e.g. as they pertain to Tanzania, Kenya, and other hubs of extremist activity in the region and potential links to North Africa and the Middle East);

  2. Conduct key interviews;

  3. Summarize the existing knowledge and frame it into different sub-topics;

  4. Identify current trends of women’s roles in violent extremism, and identify possible explanations;

  5. Suggest further areas and key questions for research.

Deliverables and Time Line

· A draft report on the findings of the desk study (31 December 2016);

· A final report of maximum 20-30 pages on the existing knowledge on women and extremism; current trends on how women support violent extremism; suggest areas of further research (15 January 2017)

· A Briefing Paper of maximum 10 pages on the findings for publication (31 January 2017)

The selected consultant will be responsible to ensure close coordination with the UN Women Somalia Country Programme Manager and the Research Coordinator.

The consultancy will start 1 November 2016 and last until 31 January 2017. The contract will be a total of 40 working days.



· Demonstrate consistency in upholding and promoting the values of UN Women in actions and decisions, in line with the UN Code of Conduct.


· Demonstrate professional competence and expert knowledge or the pertinent substantive areas of work.

Core Values and Ethics:

· Demonstrate cultural sensitivity and ability to work in a multi-national environment;

· Support the Organization’s corporate goals;

· Comply with UN WOMEN rules, regulations and code of conduct;

· Integrity.


· Demonstrate ability to work in a multicultural, multi ethnic environment and to maintain effective working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds;

· Build effective client relationships and partnerships;

· Interact with all levels of staff in the organization;

· Excellent interpersonal skills;

· Build and share knowledge;

· Make valuable practice contributions.

Communicating and Information Sharing

· Facilitate and encourage open communication and strive for effective communication;

· Excellent oral and written skills;

· Listen actively and respond effectively.

Self-management and Emotional Intelligence

· Stay composed and positive even in difficult moments, handle tense situations with diplomacy and tact, and have a consistent behaviour towards others.

Functional Competencies:

· Understands and applies fundamental concepts and principles of a professional discipline or technical speciality relating to the position;

· Possess basic knowledge or organizational policies and procedures relating to the position and applies them consistently in work tasks.


· Master degree in International Relations, Political Science or related field.


· Minimum 10 years of experience in collection and analysis of information within the relevant topic areas;

· Experience with the United Nations mission in Somalia;

· Experience as lead researcher in similar assignments;

· In-depth knowledge of extremist groups and armed groups active in the Horn of Africa in counter-terrorism prevention; in-depth knowledge of Human Rights issues in the region;

· In-depth knowledge of political and security issues in Somalia;

· Proven ability to produce high-standard publications;

· Full command of the English language with excellent demonstrated English writing skills;

· High level of proficiency in computer systems, internet navigation and various office applications.


· Fluency in the English language required, with strong, confident command of both written and oral English.

How to apply:

To apply go to