Chief Of Section, Gender Affairs

United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
Above 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
30th November, 2020

Job Description

The mission will be guided by ECA's five new strategic directions which are advancing ECA's position as a premier knowledge institution that builds on its unique position and privilege to bring global solutions to the continent's problems and take local solution to the continent; developing macroeconomic and structural policy options to accelerate economic diversification and job creation; designing and implementing innovative financing models for infrastructure, and for human, physical and social assets for a transforming Africa; contributing solutions to regional and transboundary challenges, with a focus on peace security and social inclusion as an important development nexus; advocating Africa's position at the global level and developing regional responses as a contribution to global governance issues.

The GPSPD is headed by a Director and reports to the Deputy Executive Secretary (Programme). The Division is responsible for contributing towards achieving inclusive and equitable sustainable human and social development in Africa and promoting and supporting member States in their work to achieve gender equality and women's empowerment. It is divided into three main sections: Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment; Social Policy; and Urbanization and Development.

The core functions of the Division are: addressing emerging issues that have impacts on African women and girls and promoting and supporting Member States in their work to achieve gender equality and women's empowerment; supporting member States and the organs of the African Union Commission in their work to design, implement and monitor policies, programmes and strategies to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls; strengthening evidence-based research that highlights the effects of existing gender inequalities on economic growth and the efficacy of policies and legislation in reducing gender inequality and promoting the empowerment of women and girls; monitoring the implementation of global and regional commitments on gender equality by member States, including the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action; supporting the design and implementation of appropriate national and sub-regional policies, programmes and strategies to achieve inclusive and equitable human and social development; generating knowledge, tools and approaches as a think tank to enhance the capacity of member States to develop, implement and monitor policies to reduce poverty and inequality, promote social development and harness urbanization for inclusive and equitable growth; supporting the design of policies on employment with specific reference to young people and women, adequate social protection and investment; developing monitoring tools to support informed policy decisions by member States; undertaking policy research to support member States in designing,

implementing and reviewing human and social policies and strategies; promoting regional cooperation and consensus-building with respect to accelerating the implementation of international and regional commitments; strengthening the capacity of member States to mainstream urbanization into their national development planning by developing evidence, knowledge and consensus on the role of urbanization as a driving force of inclusive growth, taking into account the new global urban agenda that emerged during the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in 2016.

This position is located in the Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Section (GEWES) within the Gender, Poverty and Social Development Policy Division (GPSPD) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (United Nations ECA). The incumbent works under the direct supervision of the Director of GPSPD and the overall supervision of the Deputy Executive Secretary (Programme).


Within delegated authority, the Chief of GEWES will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Provides policy guidance to the Director of the Division, on conceptual and analytical strategy development and management of the implementation of overall strategies and intra and inter-divisional /departmental policies and procedures;
  • Plans and oversees the management of activities undertaken by the Section and ensure that substantive work programme and activities and projects are carried out in a timely fashion, coordinating diverse projects in the Unit/Section, and, in liaison with other organizations of the United Nations System, donors and agencies as appropriate.
  • Provides substantive input and oversees the timely preparation and delivery of the Section’s publications;
  • Manages, supervises and carries out the work programme of the Section under his/her responsibility.
  • Co-ordinates the work carried out by the Section; provides programmatic and substantive reviews of drafts prepared by others.
  • Provides substantive input and oversees the timely preparation of parliamentary documents and other substantive publications for advocacy and for presentation to intergovernmental bodies such as the Committee on Social Policy, Poverty and Gender;
  • Contributes to the reporting to intergovernmental bodies on budget/programme performance or on programmatic/ substantive issues, as appropriate, particularly those presented in biannual and/or annual reports.
  • Ensures that the outputs produced by the Section maintain high-quality standards; that reports are clear, objective and based on comprehensive data. Ensures that all outputs produced by the Section under his/her supervision meet required standards before completion to ensure they comply with the relevant mandates.
  • Prepares inputs for the work programme of the Division, determining priorities, and allocating resources for the completion of outputs and their timely delivery.
  • Carries out programmatic/administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the Section, including preparation of budgets, assigning and monitoring of performance parameters and critical indicators, reporting on budget/programme performance, preparation of inputs for results-based budgeting, evaluation of staff performance (PAS), interviews of candidates for job openings and evaluation of candidates.
  • Recruits staff for Section taking due account to geographical and gender balance and other institutional values.
  • Manages, guides, develops and trains staff under his/her supervision.
  • Fosters teamwork and communication among staff in the Section and across organizational boundaries.
  • Represents the Organization at inter-agency meetings, seminars, etc. on substantive-related issues.
  • Participates in international, regional or national meetings and provides programmatic and substantive technical expertise on gender, poverty and social development issues, and hold programmatic, substantive and organizational discussions with representatives of other institutions.



  • Knowledge of gender, poverty and social development in Africa and of specific areas being supervised. Ability to produce reports and papers on technical issues and to review and edit the work of others. Demonstrated in-depth technical knowledge and proven analytical skills in aspects of social and economic development as it relates to gender equality and women’s empowerment in the African context; Ability to apply UN rules, regulations, policies and guidelines in work situations. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations.


  • Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
  • Planning& Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.
  • Leadership: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objec-tives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreea-ble solutions; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for in-corporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.

Managing Performance:

  • Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority; makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member; accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills; monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative; actively supports the devel-opment and career aspirations of staff; appraises performance fairly.


  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in economics, development studies, gender, social sciences or related field. A first-level university degree (Bachelor’s or equivalent) in specified fields with two additional years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in socio-economic development with a strong focus on gender issues is required.
  • Strong policy analysis experience is required.
  • Field experience and specific knowledge on Africa is required.
  • Experience with International technical cooperation projects and prior supervision experience is desirable


  • English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the position advertised, fluency in either working language is required. Knowledge of the other is desirable. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage.


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