The Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association (EWLA) is a non-profit women’s advocacy group founded by Ethiopian women lawyers. It began its work in 1996 after being registered in 1995. It was re-registered as a charitable organization by the Charities and Societies Agency in 2010 as per the Charities and Societies Proclamation. Its vision is to see a country where women are equal to men. It also has the mission of promoting the economic, political, social, and legal rights of women and, to that end, assisting them to secure full protection of their rights under the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and other international human rights conventions. Since its establishment, EWLA has been working to achieve this vision and mission. EWLA has eight branch offices in Adama (Oromia Regional State), Bahir Dar (Amhara Regional State), Hawassa (SNNPRS), Asossa (Benishangul Gumuz Regional State), Gambella (Gambella Regional State), Dire Dawa City Administration, Jigjiga (Somali Regional State) and Semera (Afar Regional State). The Association has 54 volunteer committees that work at the zonal and woreda levels. The core program areas of EWLA include: Free Legal Aid Service, Public Education and Capacity Building, Research and Advocacy.
Under the legal service program, EWLA provides free legal aid services for gender-based violence (GBV) survivors and needy women who cannot afford legal fees. The legal aid services include legal counseling, court representation, writing pleadings to courts and letters on administrative issues to government organs, assisting clients to follow up their cases with government, police, and public prosecutor’s offices (for criminal cases), mediation and reconciliation, and referral linkages.
Under the public education and capacity building program, EWLA provides different kinds of awareness creation training, seminars and workshops on women’s rights and Gender Based Violence (GBV) for law enforcement organs, people at the grass root level, including students and workers of different organizations, and stakeholders.
Under the Research and Advocacy program, EWLA undertakes research projects that are often used as a basis for advocacy, legal reform, and related programs. This greatly helps to identify the root causes of gender discrimination, which in turn can dictate prevention efforts.
Therefore, as part of its vision and mission, EWLA is a grantee of the strategic initiative for women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA) and is implementing a five-year grant called “WE CANNOT WAIT” towards an inclusive and diverse women’s movement in the Greater Horn of Africa. The “We Cannot Wait: (hereinafter WCW) project represents an entirely Southern-led consortium of organizations that are explicitly focused on women’s empowerment throughout the Greater Horn of Africa (GHoA). The consortium works in the following countries: Somalia, Uganda, Sudan, South Sudan, and Ethiopia. EWLA implemented this grant in the Addis Ababa, Adama, Assosa, Bahir Dar, Gambella and Diredawa regions.
The project aims at strengthening women’s leadership and participation in (political) decision-making and strengthening women’s economic empowerment and improving the economic climate for women’s participation. The project is targeted at women’s rights activists and organizations. Project strategies include capacity building for effective advocacy, linking women’s rights activists and organizations for a common agenda and action, and improving their access to advocacy platforms are among the project’s tactics.
Project Theory of Change:
It is clear that building a strong, autonomous, inclusive, grassroots women’s movement, led by dynamic individuals, women’s rights activists, and organizations, with the advocacy and lobbying capacity to demand women’s rights and gender justice, is critical to stimulating greater political, legal, and economic equity, from the family and household levels to the national and regional arenas, and is essential to the development and implementation of progressive social policies. By facilitating the establishment of such a feminist movement in the GHoA, we will achieve the SDG5 goal of greater equality and empowerment for women and girls.
Strengthening the capacity of women’s rights activists and organizations, movements and their networks to better equip and enable them to lobby and advocate for equality and equal representation is, therefore, a precondition for positive change and a major focus of this coalition which aims to build and capacitate an inclusive and diverse women’s movement in the GHoA. The WCW Consortium will support strengthened capacity of women activists and organizations and feminist movement building in three key ways: equipping them with the skills and tools needed for effective advocacy; linking them with other groups to build momentum and support to set shared agendas; and facilitating access to advocacy platforms to raise their voices and creating a more enabling environment for women’s equality including their political and economic participation.
Advancing women’s rights occurs through mutually reinforcing cycles. Economic agency is needed to increase political participation, which is vital to the law and policy reform needed to advance equality, including the ratification of international agreements and recognition of global norms which create a stronger framework within which to advance women’s human rights; and the greatest impediments to personal agency stems primarily from restrictive civil codes, family, personal status and customary laws, and discriminatory social norms, customs and practices, which create barriers to women’s ability to access resources, money, and jobs and gain personal agency and financial autonomy. Reforming legal restrictions, which are among the most powerful impediments to economic agency, is predicted to increase economic agency, empowering another increase in women’s political participation and restarting the cycle. Specific attention will be placed on interrogating existing laws, customs, practices and norms, and understanding their impact on women’s legal capacity and personal agency. Within both customary and statutory legal frameworks, those laws, customs and traditions which place jurisdiction over women’s economic and legal autonomy in the hands of others will be those marked most urgently in need of reform.
For this reason, the consortium will work to directly map out and assess the laws, policies, social practices and norms that hinder women’s agency in each country – focusing particularly on women’s legal capacity and personal agency. By redefining restrictive civil codes, family, personal status and customary laws, and discriminatory gender norms, customs and practices which create household and societal barriers to women’s ability to access resources, money, and jobs, the “We Cannot Wait: Towards an Inclusive and Diverse Women’s Movement in the Horn of Africa” project will support women to gain personal agency, financial autonomy, independence at the family and household levels and increase their political voice. With access to income, resources and decision-making power, women will gain greater control over their lives and decisions. These increased freedoms will be reinforced at all levels as liberating women from repressive laws and norms will enable greater women’s participation in all spheres, supporting social transformative processes, the realization of gender equality and justice and greater economic and political participation – as well as a reduction of fertility rates.
As restrictions on women’s agency lessens and they are more able to participate in social, political and economic spheres, the women’s movement will continue to gain confidence and momentum in advocating and lobbying for further freedoms, creating a self-fulfilling cycle of steadily increasing autonomy and equality, towards achieving the Consortium’s long-term strategic objective, Women in the Greater Horn of Africa will be leading and defining the political, sociocultural and economic agenda through a gender lens at all levels.
The consortium members will achieve this by focusing on three key project outcomes, the pathways of change for the realization of each of which are outlined below:
- Women’s rights activists and organizations (WRA/Os) are advocating for policy, law reform, and social norms.
- WRA/Os in GHoA form an inclusive and diverse coalition with shared agendas.
- WRA/Os engage actively and visibly in existing or new political and social platforms to promote their agendas.
The project will directly contribute to achieving objective two of the Power of Women, strengthening women’s leadership and women’s participation in (political) decision-making, and objective three, strengthening women’s economic empowerment and improving the economic climate for women. The first objective, prevention and elimination of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) against women and girls, will be addressed indirectly, in training, sensitization and policy/law reform. The intended research is a key component of this project.
- The assignment of this TOR is to conduct a Feminist participatory research in Diredawa, Bhairdar and Gambella regions.
General Objective of the Research
- The overall objective of the research is to map the current legal and policy framework that impacts women’s personal agency, including property rights, inheritance rights, rights over children, rights regarding divorce, age of consent laws, and other family law related legislation, and to examine the actual implementation of laws and traditional body practices.
Specific Objective of the Research
The specific objectives of the feminist research are to
- Map the current legal and policy framework that impacts women’s personal agency in the targeted areas. The assessment will include a gender analysis, particularly of women’s decision-making in the home and community, access to and control of resources, access to justice, and interactions between regional and national governments and traditional bodies.
- Examine the actual implementation practices of the existing legal and policy frameworks that impact women’s personal agency in the targeted areas. This includes customary laws, social norms, and Kadi/sharia/court practices.
- Examine the capabilities of women’s right organizations to influence government and traditional bodies, the challenges they face, lessons learned, and the practices which have proven successful.
- Provide more contextual details about the policy and legal environment, gender norms, and other relevant information about the research locations.
- Provide possible recommendations that will be used for the advocacy work for law reform and capacity building training for women, who are the target groups of the project.
Scope of Work
- This activity covers a broad range of mapping and research and can be conducted with a research institute/consultant firm. The Consultant is expected to conduct feminist participatory research with potential target groups in three locations.
- Provide Fully conceived research and assessment design including research method, data collection tools, budget and work-plan.
- Conduct a feminist participatory assessment in three locations
- Submit the draft report research to the assigned personnel of EWLA
- Prepare a power point presentation for validation workshop
- Conduct validation workshop and incorporate relevant comments into the research
- Submit the final draft of the research to EWLA in soft and hard copy
- This assignment will take place for eleven weeks from the signing of the contract by both parties. The consultant should bring the detailed work plan as part of the inception report.
Qualifications and Experiences
- Consultants should have at least a Master’s degree in laws and gender disciplines
- At least 10 years of work experience in law and gender studies
- Experience in conducting trainings on gender equality concepts.
- Fluency in English and Amharic (both written and oral)
- Company Legal Requirements: Interested applicants should submit:
- Valid Certificate of Consultancy Service or valid law and consultancy service license
- Valid Trading License/valid law and consultancy service lienee
- Valid Tax Registration Certificate (indicating TIN and VAT/TOT Number)
- Full and accurate physical, postal, telephone and email addresses
How to Apply
All interested consultants can apply by presenting the following documents:
- Letter of Application
- Comprehensive technical and financial proposal
- Reference/certificates of good completion proving that the consultants have carried out similar assignments.
- Updated CVs for the team of consultants
Interested applicants should submit separate technical and financial proposals and other documents in the application procedure section of this TOR in two sealed envelopes through following address:
EWLA Head Office: Mexico, Temama Foq building, 4th floor
Contact person cell phone: 0911169302/ 0913288588