Thinking of a Career in Emergency Management?
- BY Nicole Pelette
The WPS agenda has been initiated by the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 (2000) and reaffirmed through the adoption of seven related resolutions (1820, 1888, 1889, 1960, 2106, 2122 and 2242). It highlights the unique needs of women facing conflict and provides a strong foundation for the promotion of women’s participation in decision-making, peace processes, political, judicial and electoral systems, post-conflict peacebuilding and preventing violent extremism. Member states are encouraged to adopt UNSCR 1325 into their National Action Plans (NAPs), and incorporate it into their national legal and administrative frameworks as a monitoring tool.
The Parliament of Sri Lanka has been identified as one of the pilot parliaments by the UNDP’s global project, The Role of Parliaments as Partners in Women, Peace and Security to progress their self-identified priorities for supporting women, peace and security (WPS) in their home countries. This global project is expected to support parliamentary efforts in supporting implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), namely SDG-5 on gender equality and SDG-16 on governance, rule of law and peacebuilding.
In the local context, it must be noted that Sri Lanka is still dealing with the after-effects of the three decades of war and religious and ethnic tensions. Sri Lanka does not have a NAP to implement UNSCR 1325. Sri Lanka did not participate in the 2016 Open Debate on Women Peace and Security. Sri Lanka ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 1981. The country is ranked 100 out of 144 countries listed on the Global Gender Gap Index (GGI) for 2016.
Violence against women continues to be widespread. The social and financial issues related to women headed households, and the laws that are discriminatory of women are also some of the grave problems. With regard to women’s political participation, only 6 percent of parliamentarians are women. The Local Government Elections marked the inaugural implementation of the Local Authorities Elections (Amendment) Act No. 1 of 2016 which introduced a mandatory quota of 25 percent for women through a one-third increase in the total number of seats at the local government level. However, there have been problems in the practical implementation of this. There have been many interventions at different levels by government and non-government institutions as well as civil society and community groups for the advancement and promotion of women’s rights and support to women. However, there is a need to coordinate all these efforts, and put in place a long term, sustainable and viable support mechanism for the advancement and protection of women.
In this background, UNDP Sri Lanka country office has been working with the relevant global project lead and international consultant through UNDP Parliamentary Development Support Project towards reaching the global project’s objectives in line with the practical possibilities and ground realities in the country.
In furtherance of this initiative, UNDP Sri Lanka has been working closely with the Parliament Secretariat and several Parliamentary Committees to review the existing policy, research, data and analysis on WPS; identify critical areas to be addressed and resolved through policy recommendations; support implementation of relevant activities and lobby for a National Action Plan.
UNDP is looking to recruit a National Consultant to provide technical and coordination assistance with regard to the national implementation of the second phase of the said global project. The Consultant will report to the programme manager and work closely with UNDP Sri Lanka’s Gender focal point, Gender Specialist and UNDP Headquarters WPS team and relevant stakeholders.
SCOPE AND OBJECTIVES
The overall goal of the Global project: The Role of Parliaments as Partners in Women, Peace and Security is to strengthen the role of parliaments in implementing the Women, Peace and Security commitments based on the following outputs that center on the country level but incorporate links to regional and global networks.
Accordingly, the Consultant will be contributing to the national implementation of the said project through contributing to the following outputs;
Duties and Responsibilities
Provide technical assistance to draft policy reforms to relevant parliamentary committees, awareness raising at parliamentary and provincial level, strengthening parliamentary oversight and facilitate civil society partnerships on the WPS agenda.
Required Skills and Experience
Languages: Excellent command of the English, Sinhala and/or Tamil languages