Terms of Reference: Consultant (for the development of a Reference Manual on Women’s Human Rights and the Right to a Clean, Safe, Healthy, and Sustainable Environment) environment
Contracting organisation: Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
Starting date: 1 October 2018
Duration: Two phases, 110 working days in total (01 October – 30 December 2018) and (01 Jan – 31
Duty station: Negotiable, but preferably in Bangkok
Application Deadline: 20 September 2018
Women play a significant role in managing the environment around the world. Because of certain formal and informal constraints, however, this role is often overlooked or perceived to be of no consequence. For instance, studies show that women produce over 50% of the world’s food and comprise about 43% of the agricultural labor force, both globally and in developing countries. Despite the crucial and significant role women play in agriculture and food production, women have minimal influence on decision-making over the management of land and crops and in some communities, even excluded from owning land.
Certain communities, for instance, still subscribe to the patrilineal inheritance system, which denies women the equal right to inheritance. Hence, there have been cases where women are unable to inherit and own land that they have contributed to significantly in cultivating and developing.
In some countries in Southeast Asia, many women are unaware of their land ownership status because of sexual division of labor at home founded on gender stereotypes. “Women are expected to perform the role of homemakers, while men are considered the primary breadwinners.” Women are expected to be the primary caregiver of the children, while men undertake paid work outside the home and manage the family’s assets (e.g. real properties, etc.).
There are also apparent links between land disputes and domestic violence. There have been reports showing women, feeling the need to provide food and shelter for their children, have divested themselves of their perceived conventional role as housewives and have stepped out publicly to advocate for land rights and greater land security tenure. In some communities where women have transformed themselves as ‘campaigners’ or women human rights defenders, instances of domestic violence were seen to have increased.
Studies likewise provide evidence on how women, in comparison to men, are disproportionately or more adversely affected during environmental disasters. Vulnerable and dependent groups, especially from patriarchal societies, developing economies and traditional contexts, find themselves having to face violence against them exacerbated in situations of disaster and disruption. For example, both domestic violence and sexual assault were widely reported to increase in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Examples from Sri Lanka cited by researchers include women battered because they resist their husbands’ sale of their jewelry or disputed their use of tsunami relief funds. Mothers were also blamed by fathers for the deaths of their children. One civil society group reported a three-fold increase in cases brought to them following the tsunami.
While there is sufficient evidence that points to the need for gender-specific needs with respect to women in situations of disaster, the conditions of mass anxiety, helplessness, economic insecurity felt in the face of overwhelming, life-threatening danger and transition often strengthens patriarchal behaviour, while rejecting tolerance for difference, dignity and dissent. Under such circumstances, gender-based prejudices, patriarchal values and behaviour patterns are likely to gain new vigour and scope. Evidently, as a consequence of natural disasters, dependent groups are doubly affected by both direct and indirect impacts of environmental catastrophes.
In light of the abovementioned issues, from 5 to 7 October 2017, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute (RWI) hosted and convened the 2017 Annual Judicial Dialogue on Women, Human Rights, and the Right to a Safe, Clean, Healthy, and Sustainable Environment. The judicial dialogue examined the linkages between women’s human rights and the environment and how the judiciary may play a role in protecting women’s human rights and the right to a safe, clean, healthy, and sustainable environment.
Judges from all over Southeast Asia participated at the judicial dialogue. They adopted Action Points or steps they can take as individual judges and/or as judicial institutions to put into action what they have learned from the discussions at the dialogue. One of Action Points agreed upon by the judges is to put together a Reference Manual to help build and strengthen the capacity of judges on women’s human rights and the right to a clean, safe, healthy, and sustainable environment. The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute (RWI) committed to supporting and resourcing the development of this Reference Manual.
The objective is to develop and finalize a Reference Manual to build the capacity of judges on women’s human rights and the right to a clean, safe, healthy, and sustainable environment.
III. Roles and Responsibilities
The consultant will work under the supervision of RWI Programme Officer. The ICJ’s Senior International Legal Adviser will provide guidance to the consultant throughout the elaboration of the content of the Reference Manual, and will provide comments to the draft Reference Manual to ensure it is of high quality and user-friendly.
The roles and responsibilities of the consultant will be as follows:
1. Collect, review, and analyze all necessary information to understand the linkage between women’s human rights and the right to a clean, safe, healthy, and sustainable environment, which includes:
(a) Court decisions in Southeast Asia or beyond the region wherein the court included a gender perspective in deciding a case involving the right to a clean, safe, healthy, and sustainable environment;
(b) International human rights law and standards showing the linkage between women’s human rights and the right to a clean, safe, healthy, and sustainable environment; and
(c) Documents from international and regional bodies (e.g. reports of UN special procedures, treaty bodies, etc.);
2. Deliver a Reference Manual that may be used to strengthen the capacity of judges in deciding with a gender perspective cases involving the right to a clean, safe, healthy, and sustainable environment.
3. Together with the ICJ, frame and implement a judicial dialogue for
Southeast Asian judges wherein the framework of the Reference Manual shall be presented to the
judges for their inputs and comments on its usability and relevance.
Candidates are invited to send an application via e-mail to Sokseila Bun, Programme Officer, RWI:
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
The application needs to contain the following:
• Letter of interest for the assignment;
• CV including information on relevant knowledge and experience; and
• Reference list including contact details (e-mail addresses) of referees
• Financial offer – The proposed budget should include daily fee rate
for consulting services.
See the PDF here for more information including Expected Timeframe and Outputs