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. Placing women’s rights at the centre of all its efforts, UN Women leads and coordinates the efforts of the United Nations system to ensure that commitments on gender equality and gender mainstreaming translate into action throughout the world. UN Women provides strong and coherent leadership in support of Member States’ priorities and efforts, building effective partnerships with civil society and other relevant actors.
UN Women South Africa Multi-Country Office (SAMCO) is based in Pretoria, South Africa and serves five countries: South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, and Swaziland.
South Africa is committed to unleash women’s true economic potential as part of the national programme towards economic recovery. To do this, major structural challenges must be overcome in our economy to ensure that women have increased access and ownership of the means of production, which includes ownership of sustainable businesses. The devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to small businesses shutting down and significant job losses, which in turn has created urgency to create economic opportunities for women in business, in the world of work and women entrepreneurs.
Gender equality is achieved when women and men enjoy the same rights and opportunities across all sectors of society, including economic participation and decision-making; and when the different behaviors, aspirations and needs of women and men are equally valued and favored. Despite the considerable progress South Africa has made in raising women’s representation in political parties, government and companies, many women are still missing out on the full benefits of a truly gender-diverse economy.
This, in turn, has a negative effect on many aspects of women’s lives:
Women have limited access to opportunities to own, access and control productive resources such as finance, land, technology, and businesses; and this curtails women’s ability to fully participate in the economy.
The patriarchal division of labour is still entrenched, resulting in the social expectation of child rearing, and seeing to the well-being, feeding and care of the family being the sole domain of women.
While women’s participation in labour markets has increased, they are still over-represented in insecure sectors; and are under-represented in decision making, including critical leadership positions.
Women’s lack of access, whether it be to education, opportunities, experiences, psycho-social assistance, and support structures, significantly stunts their ability to enjoy and participate fully in life in many ways and denies them the opportunity to add meaningful value to themselves, their families, society, and the economy.
Poverty in South Africa has a gender dimension that challenges the equal status of women enshrined in the constitution and poses a threat to the realization of their full equal human rights in practice. The "feminisation" of poverty has significant implications for policy reform and practice, because poverty is experienced differently and often more severely by women.
The National Strategic Planning Framework on Gender Based Violence (NSP), through Pillar 5, recognizes the damaging effect of these barriers, and further notes the role of access to economic opportunities as a foundation for women to break free from abusive relationships. In this regard, Pillar 5 seeks to utilize the public preferential procurement policy and strategies as levers and a springboard to extend participation of women in the economy, to promote their independence, and to minimize their vulnerability to abuse.
As As part of this approach, Pillar 5 also seeks to mobilise the private sector to partner with government in enabling women owned enterprises to participate in procurement opportunities, and to grow the allocation of private sector procurement to women owned enterprises. This is intended to support women’s economic empowerment in a coherent and sustainable manner.
In 2020 SA committed to 40% preferential procurement for women owned businesses (WOB) in the public sector. Steps to realise this vision have included 4 critical activities:
Establishing an effective institutional framework for delivery in government.
Developing & rolling out a capacity building programme for WOB.
Twinning WOB with public sector opportunities.
Activating private sector supply value chains for WOB.
The fourth activity, i.e., activating private sector supply value chains for WOB is particularly critical because preferential procurement can only be effective in contexts where the supply chain is gender-responsive, diverse, capable, and sustainable both on the demand side and the supply side.
The Women’s Economic Assembly initiative presents a framework to activate procurement value chains in the private and public sectors, bringing together all necessary stakeholders to contribute to a movement towards economic emancipation for all the women of South Africa, regardless of race, creed, sexual orientation, or background.
ABOUT THE WOMEN’S ECONOMIC ASSEMBLY
NSP Pillar 5 presents a strategy that brings the public and private sectors together to inspire innovation, thought leadership and action that will accelerate women’s participation in supply value chains in order to meet the preferential procurement target. An annual national forum called the Women’s Economic Assembly will be held as a coordinating, activation and monitoring platform for government and private sector actions towards preferential procurement for women owned businesses.
The main goal of the Women’s Economic Assembly is to draw companies, departments, organisations and individuals to connect and inspire innovation, thought leadership and action to transform value chain eco-systems and create clear pathways for suppliers on how and where women owned businesses should participate. This initiative aims to build a long-term framework where economic opportunities for women, nationally and across the continent are leveraged, well understood, and articulated in line with the supply chain eco-systems within various sectors.
The specific objectives of the Women’s Economic Assembly are:
To present and validate with stakeholders the proposed model and sector action plans for supply value chain activation.
To create an effective platform for social dialogue, commitment making, action, and social contracting about a gender-responsive economy in South Africa; thus, forging a partnership between government, women in business and business organisations.
To ensure policy coherence on socio-economic issues and access to finance for women’s businesses and rural enterprise.
To develop a framework for tracking and measurement, and to promote collective learning for better programme implementation.
The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa and the UN Women South Africa Multi Country Office is working with the NSP Pillar 5 multi-stakeholder group to ensure that women owned businesses secure increased opportunities in industry supply chains.
It is against this background that the Presidency of the Republic of South Africa and the UN Women seeks to appoint a consultant to conduct a gender assessment of the Energy Sector, to determine opportunities for women owned businesses and further develop a comprehensive strategy of how to support women in this sector.
Objectives of the assignment:
Consultant will solicit inputs from sector leaders on the draft Energy Sector gender analysis report – including all key associations in SA. Validate of the Energy sector gender analysis study, which should include the production of a final draft of the validated report. And conceptualization and support to the validation workshop and media engagement.
Scope of Work:
It is in this context, of these priorities and the cooperation between the Presidency and UN Women SAMCO, that the services of an expert Consultant/s to solicit inputs from sector leaders on the draft Energy Sector gender analysis report – including all key associations in SA. Validate the Energy sector gender analysis study, which should include the production of a final draft of the validated report. And conceptualization and support to the validation workshop and media engagement.
Duties and Responsibilities
To Solicit inputs from sector leaders on the draft Energy Sector gender analysis report – including all key associations in SA. To validate the Energy sector gender analysis study, which should include the production of a final draft of the validated report. And conceptualization and support to the validation workshop and media engagement.
Composite review report from energy sector leaders.
Final draft of the energy sector gender analysis report.
Validation workshop concept note.
Final project report.
Deliverables Deliverables timeframe Payment in percentage %
Signing of contract, upon submission of work plan - with clear outline of deliverables.
No later than 10 days after signing of the contract
10% contract value
Solicit inputs from sector leaders on the draft Energy Sector gender analysis report – including all key associations in SA
15 days 20% contract value
Validation of the Energy sector gender analysis study, which should include the production of a final draft of the validated report.
40% contract value
Conceptualisation and support to the validation workshop and media engagement
-Final report 20 days 30% contract value
60 days 100%
Respect for Diversity
Awareness and Sensitivity Regarding Gender Issues
Creative Problem Solving
Leading by Example
Proven experience in the application of social science research methodologies and approaches, specifically within the domain of women, gender and the economy
Demonstrated capability to conduct cross country research, within the ambits of women and the economy and/ or entrepreneurship
Familiarity with actors (government, private sector and women’s networks) specifically within the women’s economic empowerment context
Familiarity with the women’s economic empowerment and productive assets landscape, in terms of conceptual frameworks, policy approaches and strategies and practices being applied (by government and the private sector)
In-depth knowledge of gender equality, women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship, with emphasis on SME context;
Proven experience in working with systems thinking and tools;
Strong communication and interpersonal skills, ability to foster networks and partnerships;
Ability to complete complex assignments in a timely manner and delivery quality results.
Excellent communication skills, especially training and writing skills.
Ability to work in a pressurized environment.
Required Skills and Experience
Master’s degree in social sciences, development economics/ development finance, policy or any other relevant field.
Minimum of 10 years’ experience in working with the Government, NGOs and international organizations on gender equality and women empowerment. Knowledge of stakeholder change management, gender and policy analysis, gender mainstream strategies for energy and electricity sector.
Demonstrated ability to draft, generate and deliver high quality and complex research reports, technical/ strategic documents, and accompanying presentations/ inputs.
Extensive experience in gender equality, women’s rights and women’s economic empowerment.
Familiarity and experience in technical advisory support and/ or the development of policies and programmes in the context of women’s economic empowerment and/ or gender and economic inclusion and/ or women’s entrepreneurship.
Fluency in English is required;
Knowledge of the other UN official working language is an asset.