UN Women Regional Office opens call for partial renewal of its advisory group of civil society

Date: Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Regional Office of UN Women for the Americas and the Caribbean invites interested persons to apply to the call for the partial renewal of its Civil Society Advisory Group for Latin America and the Caribbean (CSAG-LAC). Membership of four members and four alternates of CSAG-LAC will be renewed.

The Civil Society Advisory Group for Latin America and the Caribbean (CSAG-LAC) was formed in May 2012 and was the outcome of a rigorous and very well attended selection process where almost 120 men and women, of great trajectory and prestige, were nominated. The final selection was made by civil society peers. Fifteen members and three permanent observers were selected, in addition to four alternate nominees (one per sub region). In order to ensure the continuity of the Advisory Group’s work, a share of their members will perform their duties for a period of three years. Consequently, in 2014 half the group was renewed with 7 new members. During the first semester of 2016 membership will be renewed again, with 8 of the original members leaving the group. The new members will be selected through a process of public nomination. From 2016 the group will be composed by 11 members in total.

Currently, the Advisory Group has very wide representation, both of organizations and spheres of action, as well as geographically. The advisors represent the four regions: 1) Caribbean (English, French); 2) Mexico, Central America and Hispanic Caribbean; 3) the Andean Sub-Region; and 4) Brazil and the Southern Cone.

They have proven experience in the areas of gender equality and the empowerment of women. Among them there are advocates of women’s rights, scholars specialized in gender and recognized by highly prestigious institutions, indigenous leaders, advocates of the rights of Afro-descendant women and known activists in the defense of the political, economic and reproductive rights of women in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Advisory Group meets face-to-face once a year and virtually every two months having regular virtual meetings with the Regional Director. The first CSAG-LAC face-to-face meetingtook place in Panama, in October 2012, for the purpose of generating concrete recommendations for UN Women’s work and for the Strategic Plan 2014-2017. Thesecond meeting took place in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in October 2013, prior to the ECLAC XII Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean (centered on gender equality, the empowerment of women, and information and communication technology) and the Forum of Feminist Organizations (space to debate, formulate, and make the voices of women reach the plenary of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean). The third face-to-face meeting took place in Panama, in October 2014, for the purpose of formulating a Work Plan for 2015, as well as posing the group’s evaluation and future actions. The fourth face-to-face meeting will took place in Santiago de Chile, in January 2016, prior to the regional consultation before the CSW60 in 2016 organized jointly by ECLAC and UN Women. The fifth face-to face meeting will be held in Uruguay, October 2016 prior to the ECLAC XIII Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The UN Women Civil Society Advisory Group for Latin American and the Caribbean Region will be composed by 11 individuals with a track record of impact on the ground and proven experience, in areas related to gender equality, human rights of women and women’s empowerment. They will come from gender equality networks, women’s and feminist organizations, as well as other non-governmental and grassroots organizations working on youth, race and ethnicity, sexuality, women’s human rights and sexual diversity, and gender identity, among others, who are committed to the core values of the United Nations. In all cases members should be well recognized in the field of activism (strong connections with networks and women organizations at national, regional or global level), have credibility, analytical capacities, knowledge on new communicational technologies, professional trajectory and proven knowledge of the needs and interests of women and women groups.

The composition will be as follows:

  • Eight (8) members from gender equality networks, women’s and feminist organizations (intermediary or grassroots ones). Geographic balance will be ensured by including at least two members of each of the four sub-regions in LAC: 1) Caribbean (English and French); 2) Mexico, Central America and Hispanic Caribbean; 3) the Andean Sub-Region; and 4) Brazil and the Southern Cone;
  • Three (3) experts on UN Women’s impact areas and priority subareas in the Region (women’s economic empowerment, women’s political participation and leadership; preventing and ending violence against women and girls; peace and security and gender budget): not exclusively scholars, but also members of research feminist institutes or human rights (including legal expertise) organizations and other organizations/networks with proven expertise.

The Group’s composition should ensure the representation of the diversity of women from the region and include women’s and feminist organizations and networks, civil society organizations, the academia and selected opinion leaders. The Group will include members with experience at the grassroots level who represent diverse development perspectives.

The membership to the CSAG-LAC is ad honorem.

To know more about the members and results see the following links:

Members of the Advisory Group will serve on a personal capacity for a period of two years. The Group’s members will be renewed by thirds. In order to ensure continuity in the Advisory Group’s work, a proportion of its members could serve for a period of maximum three years in total, according to the own Committee’s decision.

Role and responsabilities:

a) Advisory Role

  • To provide strategic advice to UN Women, individual or collectively -and other instances when appropriate-on its thematic priorities and policies, including the strategic planning process;
  • To provide intelligence and guidance on political, economic, social and cultural developments and trends to UN Women regional/national programming (political screening);
  • To provide analysis on the socio-economic and political environment at the country/regional levels and its impact on gender equality and women’s Rights issues;
  • To provide inputs to UN Women’s programmes and policies, including the Regional Strategic Plan;
  • To provide guidance and inputs to regional advocacy strategies on gender equality promotion and empowerment of women.

b) Advocacy role:

  • To assist UN Women in strengthening its engagement and dialogue with civil society at all levels;
  • To participate and advocate in the intergovernmental processes and platforms such as the CSW and the Regional Conference on Women, among others;
  • To create a network of solidarity of the civil society to coordinate efforts with UN Women in order to accelerate action and advocacy for the achievement of equality gender in 2030;
  • To contribute with the effective implementation and monitoring of the Development Agenda 2030.
Operational framework: Activities
  • Meet once a year physically, preferably before the CSW or the Regional Conference on Women for Latin America and the Caribbean; and/or other relevant events for the gender agenda at regional and global level;
  • Hold bi-monthly virtual meetings among the group’s members with a previous agreed agenda and also bimonthly with UN Women Regional Director and senior staff;
  • Hold complementary and permanent engagement ongoing through ICTs with contributions to group work. In case of having some temporary problem must inform the group. Have contact, as own initiative or as request of the group, with the National and Global Civil Society Advisory Groups, informing the activities and obtained results;
  • Contribute to the implementation and monitoring of the bi-annual work plan and develop a new plan accordingly. The plan should have objectives, actions, dates and contribute to the priorities of UN Women. Among the actions virtual thematic dialogues will be carried out.
The Regional Office of UN Women will provide a facilitator of the Group, who will be in charge of coordinating the virtual and face-to face meetings, guide and organize discussions and processes of the Group and serve as a regular liaison between the Group and the Regional Office for specific issues. Outputs:
  • Concrete recommendations to UN Women (as a result of virtual and face-to face meetings).
  • SCAG-LAC’ Work Plan;
  • Virtual dialogues’ reports;
  • Bi-monthly meetings’ reports;
  • Reports and/or documents providing advice to UN Women;
  • Reports on the participation in meetings and activities on behalf of the Group.
Selection criteria Through this call, four members and their alternates from the current CSAG LAC will be renewed. In order to preserve a balance among current members and new ones, candidates who meet at least 4 of the below listed criteria will be considered:
  • Be part of some of the following groups of population: youth representatives (30 years of age or under), indigenous people, afro descendants, rural, peasants, and women living with HIV, LGBTTI, with active participation in the women’s or feminist movement at regional or global level;
  • Residents from some of the English and French-speaking countries in the Caribbean;
  • Have an attitude and readiness for active participation in groups and have enough time to follow up on activities, promote initiatives and provide time to respond consultations. Have availability of at least 10% of their weekly working time is required. If work in an organization or institution must attach a letter from the employer / to authorize that minimum of work time to participate in the group. Availability of at least 10% of their weekly working time is required. If you work in an organization or institution must attach a letter from the employer / to authorize it to have that minimum% of their work time to participate in the grou;
  • Thematic expertise in at least two of the UN Women’s priority areas in the Region, i.e.: a) Women’s Economic Empowerment; b) Women’s Political Participation and Leadership; c) Ending Violence Against Women;
  • Experience in policy, legislation and/or human rights treaties is valued, particularly at the regional/international level;
  • Experience in research or academic fields, especially on some of the priority themes of UN women;
  • Active and proven participation within the women’s or feminist spaces at the regional level;
  • Strong connection on national or regional women’s or feminist organizations and networks, concerned with matters within the competence of UN Women and with extensive experience in the promotion of gender equality or women’s human rights in national and/or regional advocacy and policy development;
  • Demonstrable experience and understanding of the needs and interests of diverse groups of women, particularly in the Global South;
  • Understanding of different development patterns and differences between middle-income and least developed countries (LDCs);
  • In order to ensure neutrality and in compliance with UN ethical standards, members must not be part of directive organs of political parties, hold public offices or being elected. In case of being elected after the selection as members of the CSAG-LAC they must submit a formal vacating or shall terminate the mandate before designation;
  • Members of UN Women’s Global and National Civil Society Advisory Groups at the moment of the selection cannot be nominated to the Regional Civil Society Advisory Group;
  • Confidence and commitment to the mandate of UN Women and the UN Charter to carry out this work.
HOW TO APPLY: Application instructions Qualified candidates who are interested in become a member of CSAG LAC are invited to submit their application in English and/or Spanish no later than July 10, 2016. Application package consist of:
  • Currículum vitae (CV). No more than 5 pages with a summary of professional and work experience at the women's or feminist movement;
  • Motivation letter (duly signed) expressing the reasons for the application and contributions to the Action Plan of UN Women;
  • Endorsement letter from a feminist or women organization, certified not less than 5 years and duly signed by the authority;
  • Letter of time availability signed by competent authority, in case of being employed in any organization or institution of the civil society.
  • Please combine all your documents into one single PDF file to upload maximum one file.
  • Applications after the deadline will not be considered. Only short listed qualified candidates will receive an acknowledgement.
  • Please apply through an e-mail to programme.one@unwomen.org with subject reference "CSAG-LAC 2016".
  • Only candidates selected for the short list will be contacted.
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.