To Conduct a Study of Needs and Challenges for Women Running for Elected Office in Iraq


The Iraqi constitution mandates a quota of 25% for women in the Council of Representatives (COR), the national parliament, and in the Provincial Councils (PCs), elected in each of the eighteen provinces. The existence of the quota since 2005 has helped many women assume elected office and raised the profile of women in politics. Despite this, women candidates have difficulty in winning seats in COR or in PCs on their own merit, without the quota system. According to statements by women candidates, women need support in a variety of areas in order to strengthen their candidacy and present a persuasive alternative to the electorate. 

The Iraq Foundation (IF), an independent NGO working in Iraq since 2003, will implement a project to study the challenges, and the opportunities, facing women candidates for elected office, with the purpose of providing the international community and local stakeholders with a needs-assessment/study that can form the basis of evidence-driven future support. The project is supported by, and will be carried out in coordination with, the United Nations Assistance Mission to Iraq (UNAMI). All reports and other outputs of the project will be shared with UNAMI. The Economic and Social Council for West Asia (ESCWA) will provide input on international standards and best practices. In a subsequent phase of the project, and in the context of Provincial Council elections scheduled for April 2020, IF intends to use the findings of the study to carry out training for women candidates PC elections in early 2020. 

The Iraq Foundation seeks to hire a regional expert to prepare a framework and tools for the needs-assessment/study, train local researches to conduct the research, and submit a report and recommendations based on the research outcomes. The regional expert will report to the Iraq Foundation. Where indicated, the regional expert will consult with ESCWA.

Specific Terms of Reference

  1. Using international standards, design a framework for a study of the needs of women candidates for elected office in Iraq and the electoral challenges they face. Consult with ESCWA in finalizing the framework.
  2. Work with a local consultant to define the local context for the study
  3. Train local researchers 
  4. Oversee the conduct of the research and compile data.
  5. Prepare a needs-assessment study based on the research, with a recommendation for specific assistance to meet the needs. Consult with ESCWA in finalizing the study


Scope of Work

  1. Using international standards, prepare a methodology and tools in Arabic to conduct research into the needs of women candidates and the practical challenges they face in their candidacy for elected office. ESCWA will provide input on international standards and regional models. 
  2. Communicate with Iraqi local gender expert to anchor the research in the local Iraqi socio-political context 
  3. Train local researches on methodology and proper use of research tools 
  4. Compile and analyze data from the research output 
  5. Prepare a draft study in English based on the research, identifying the electoral needs of women candidates, and recommending interventions by local and international agencies. Obtain input from ESCWA on international standards and regional models
  6. Submit the draft study to the Iraq Foundation for review 
  7. Edit and submit the final study to Iraq Foundation

Specific Deliverables

  1. A framework and tools for research in Arabic
  2. Training of local researchers in Arabic
  3. English language report/needs assessment with recommendations for action

Required Skill and experience

  1. Demonstrated understanding of women’s political participation in the MENA region 
  2. Demonstrated experience in research and study of needs and challenges facing women in politics in the MENA region
  3. Excellent written and oral skills in English and Arabic 
  4. Ability to travel to Erbil
  5. Preferred: previous work with UN agencies


Estimated number of working days: 20 days from October 15- December 30, including two days in Erbil. 

Remuneration: $11,000. Travel and per diem expenses will be paid by the Iraq Foundation.

Deadline for receiving applications: October 5, 2019.

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