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Consultant – Conduct a Gender Responsive Assessment, Review and Audit of Procurement Laws, Policies, Regulations, and Institutions at UN Women

UN Women – In July 2010, the United nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. The creation of UN Women came about as part of the UN reform agenda, bringing together resources and mandates for greater impact. It merges and builds on the important work of four previously distinct parts of the UN system (DAW, OSAGI, INSTRAW and UNIFEM), which focused exclusively on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

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We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Consultant to Conduct a Gender Responsive Assessment, Review and Audit of Procurement Laws, Policies, Regulations, and Institutions

Location: Homebased, Nigeria
Type of Contract: Individual Contract
Post Level: National Consultant
Duration of Initial Contract : 75 working days
Languages Required : English

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Background

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, peace, and security.
UN Women has a universal mandate that encompasses a normative, an operational/programmatic as well as a coordination role, all of which are closely linked with its unique structure. At the core of its mandate, UN women plays a leading role in supporting governments in delivering on their gender equality and women empowerment (GEWE) commitments in the SDGs.
Women-owned/led businesses are a growing share of all enterprises in many African countries. Studies indicate that up to one-third (34.5%) of formal firms in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) report women ownership participation (World Bank, 2011).
Public procurement represents an attractive market for women entrepreneurs since it accounts for 15 to 30 per cent of GDP globally. In addition, procurement can sometimes consume as much as 50 per cent of GNP in some countries. Public procurement, therefore, creates market opportunities that have long been recognized as an engine for growth for small and medium enterprises.
Yet women-owned small and medium enterprises (WSME) are severely underrepresented as suppliers, securing only an estimated 1 per cent of procurement contracts.
In Nigeria, women remain under-represented as entrepreneurs accessing public procurement opportunities. Furthermore, most women-led businesses are in the informal sector, which excludes them from the participation threshold outlined in the Public Procurement Act. The Act requires businesses, which seek to supply public goods and services to be formally registered. Since most women-led businesses are unregistered and function within the informal economy, they are automatically excluded.
Also, there are other requirements relating to tax and annual turnover which most women entrepreneurs do not meet either. The disparities between women’s economic participation and inclusive growth exist partly because most of the WSME are currently engaging at meso and micro levels within the informal economy and are not involved in macro – level activities such as procuring public goods and services.
Other common barriers encountered by women in accessing public procurement include, corruption, bribery, favoritism/nepotism in government structures, including in the form of sexual harassment and gender-based violence.
Similarly, women entrepreneurs very often, encounter difficulties due to limited information around the drafting of bids and lack technical capacities to execute the contract. Women entrepreneurs also lack access to information and networks to respond to procurement calls.
Long delays in payment from government procuring entities also discourages small-sized women-owned businesses to bid.
UN Women ’s Regional Office for West and Central Africa will implement the project: Women’s Economic Empowerment through Affirmative Procurement Reform in West and Central Africa between 2021-2024.
The regional project seeks to support women’s economic empowerment through enhanced opportunities of women-led businesses to access public procurement and corporate supply chains in four countries of West Africa: Senegal, Nigeria, Mali, and Cote d’Ivoire.
The project will also integrate affirmative procurement initiatives in the context of COVID 19 response and recovery strategies. The proposed project supports reform and institutional strengthening to improve women-led businesses access to public procurement and supports the development of gender responsive procurement initiatives as part of the COVID-19 response strategies.

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