Timeframe: August 2019 – February 2020
Location: Remote, with some travel
The International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC) is seeking a consultant or team of consultants to support a project to advance IWHC’s emergent body of work on consent. Working with IWHC’s Learning, Monitoring, & Evaluation and Advocacy and Policy teams, the consultant(s) will design and produce four narrative case studies examining circumstances in different countries (India, Peru, South Africa, and Turkey) where there are conflicting laws and policies regarding consent to sex, marriage, or sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, to shine a light on the implications of such conflicts on the lives of women and girls.
The International Women’s Health Coalition envisions a world in which women and girls:
- Have access to the information and services they need to enhance and protect their health and achieve their full potential;
- Can make informed choices about their sexuality, relationships, pregnancy, child-bearing, and marriage, free of discrimination, coercion, and violence;
- Are equally and effectively engaged in decisions that affect their sexual and reproductive rights and health; and
- Lead movements working to advance sexual and reproductive rights and health.
The International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC) promotes and protects the sexual and reproductive rights and health of women and young people, particularly adolescent girls, in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. IWHC advances this agenda by supporting and strengthening local leaders and organizations working within their communities and at the national and regional levels; by advocating for international policies, programs, and funding; and, by seeking to influence US policy on these matters. IWHC builds bridges between local realities and global policymaking by connecting women and youth leaders in the Global South to key decision-makers. In doing so, IWHC brings local voices to global debates and in turn, makes global processes and policies more understandable and actionable at the local level.
In 2018, the staff and board of IWHC decided to explicitly name the values of the organization. We consulted grantee partners, sister organizations, and donors to understand how they experience us and our
work. We reflected intensively and collectively on IWHC’s 34-year history as an advocacy, grantmaking, and intellectual leadership organization, our role in global and national women’s movements, our track record of achievement, the challenges we face, and our ongoing aspirations. We agreed on seven values: excellence; feminism; diversity, equity, and inclusion; generosity of spirit; trust; autonomy; and, movement building. A full explanation of these values can be found here: https://iwhc.org/about-us/values/
About the project
IWHC convened a Partner Forum in September 2018, where its grantee partners came together for reflection, rejuvenation, and strategizing. Chief among the concerns partners discussed was the need for coordinated engagement on the issue of consent. Our dialogue evidenced a glaring absence of or conflicting normative guidance on how health systems, laws, and policies should consider the questions of who has/should have the capacity to provide consent and what constitutes consent, particularly when it comes to sex, marriage, or access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services or information, such as comprehensive sexuality education. Further, while guidance does exist on the rights of individuals to provide informed consent to receive care in medical settings, participants recognized that groups of marginalized people, including people with disabilities, afro-descendants, migrants, indigenous people, are often denied the right to make decisions about and exercise autonomy over their bodies and rights and are subject to invasive medical procedures like forced or coerced sterilization. To address the need raised by our partners, and to advance IWHC’s strategic goals, IWHC is crafting a body of work on navigating consent, of which the case studies project will be a component.
Aims of the case study project:
- Examine circumstances in 4 countries (India, Peru, South Africa, and Turkey) where there are conflicting laws and policies regarding consent to sex, marriage, or SRH services
- Through written case study reports, shine a light on the implications of such conflicts on the lives of women and girls
- Guiding questions:
- What are the laws and policies governing consent to sex, marriage, and SRH services?
- How do these laws and policies conflict with each other? How do these laws and policies help or hinder adolescents’ ability to exercise their sexual and reproductive rights and access sexual and reproductive health services?
- What does this look like in an adolescent’s life? In the short term? And long term?
- Under these laws and policies, what additional barriers are encountered by adolescents who face discrimination based on socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other marginalized identities?
- What role does parental consent play, and how does this help or hinder adolescents’ ability to exercise their rights and access services?
- What guidance exist for health care workers to help interpret laws and policies and to understand their responsibilities regarding adolescent SRH and consent?
- How do health care workers make decisions about services or information they provide when issues of adolescent consent to sex, marriage, or SRH services arise?
- What factors influence health care workers’ implementation of laws and policies governing consent to sex, marriage, or SRH services?
Specifically, working with IWHC’s Learning, Monitoring, & Evaluation (LME) and Advocacy and Policy (AP) teams, and informed by our current work and that of our peers, the consultant(s) will produce over the next 6 months:
- Project timeline and work plan
- Mapping of key informant individuals and organizations, working with IWHC and its partners, to determine extent of project feasibility and level of travel required
- Key informant interview guides targeted at health care workers, governments, nongovernmental organizations, adolescents
- Outline for case studies
- Draft written case studies
- Final written case studies
- Debrief meeting to provide recommendations to inform: (a) forthcoming convening on consent and (b) ideas for advocacy or communications materials produced from case studies
- Possible attendance at the convening on consent to present case studies
Qualifications and expertise:
- Demonstrated commitment to human rights, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and gender justice
- Extensive experience in human rights and global health policy
- Extensive experience working with non-profit organizations primarily in the Global South
- Demonstrated skills and strong emotional intelligence for working across cultures and generations
- Strong critical thinking and demonstrated skills in synthesizing information
- Strong analytical and narrative writing that is clear and accessible to wide audiences
- Experience developing and executing case studies or similar projects requiring systematic inquiry and informant interviews
- Fluent written and spoken English required; strong written and spoken Spanish strongly preferred
- Meticulous attention to detail, excellent interpersonal skills, and a collaborative spirit
How to apply:
Please apply by July 15, 2019, by submitting a cover letter, a CV, two writing samples, references, and rates to Michelle at [email protected]
IWHC is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply. IWHC does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, HIV status, or disability. This policy applies to all of IWHC’s activities including, but not limited to, recruitment, hiring, compensation, assignment, training, promotion, discipline, and discharge. We are committed to seeking qualified candidates who contribute to the diversity of the working environment.