FGM Policy Advocacy Strategy Terms of Reference

Sonke Gender Justice (Sonke) is looking for a consultant to develop a policy advocacy strategy to address Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) particularly in 5 MEA partner countries Liberia, Mali, Uganda, Kenya and Nigeria and at the regional level including Regional Economic Blocs (RECs) and the A.U.

The purpose of the policy advocacy strategy is to advocate for laws, policies and programmes addressing FGM that promote the inclusion of men and boys in ending FGM, taking into account that men and boys have a critical role in addressing social and cultural norms that facilitate the continuation of the practice.


Sonke Gender Justice, established in 2006, is an organisation that strives to prevent domestic and sexual violence, reduce the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS and promote gender equality and human rights. Sonke ’s work is in all of South Africa’s nine provinces and also in 22 countries across Southern, Eastern, Central and Western Africa, and globally in partnership with United Nations agencies, members of the Men Engage Alliance and other international networks and affiliates.

Sonke is a founding member of MenEngage, a global alliance made up of dozens of country networks across the world, hundreds of non-governmental organisations as well as UN partners. MenEngage works collectively and individually towards advancing gender justice, human rights, and social justice to achieve a world in which all can enjoy healthy, fulfilling and equitable relationships and their full potential. The global Alliance consists of representatives from each continent who in turn coordinate the country networks in their respective continents. Sonke is also the secretariat of MenEngage Africa (MEA) Alliance, which consists of 22 countries. Sonke provides capacity building and technical support to partners within the MEA Alliance.

MEA, the regional network of the MenEngage Global Alliance, is a network of civil society organisations and activists formed in 2006 with the goal of working in partnership to promote the engagement of men and boys in achieving gender equality, preventing HIV, promoting human rights and reducing violence at all levels across the continent, including questioning the structural barriers that drive gender inequalities. The membership of MEA consists of a range of civil society organisations representing women’s rights, HIV/AIDS, LGBTQIA+ rights, youth and child rights, refugees and migrants, and social justice constituencies. All 22 MEA country networks have existing and strive to build stronger, working relations with feminist women’s rights, child rights and youth movements, LGBTIQA+ rights movement and other social justice movements, as well as local and national governments and UN agencies, which are seen as strategic partners. The country networks aim to undertake joint programming, research, and policy and advocacy activities to contribute to the achievement of gender equality.

Among other things, as part of its 5-year Strategic Plan, MEA seeks to contribute to the elimination of all forms of discrimination, violence and harmful practices against all women and girls including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). FGM is internationally recognised as a violation of womxn’s rights. In common with other forms of gender-based violence (GBV), it is considered a breach of a woman’s fundamental right to life, liberty, security, dignity, and equality. The practice is perpetuated by an entrenched sense of social obligation and is endorsed for perceived cultural, social, economic, religious, or hygienic reasons, including marriage suitability, controlling womxn’s sexuality and rites of passage. Rigid gender norms and harmful practices that determine individuals’ behaviour, causing GBV and gender injustice, are upheld and reinforced by the community, civil society, and state institutions alike. National governments, although often “progressive” at the international level, for a number of reasons, fail to formulate and/or implement laws, policies and programmes that address the root causes of GBV and gender injustice, and are rarely held accountable when womxn’s rights are violated.

Thus as part of it’s initiatives to address FGM under UNFPA-UNICEF Spotlight Initiative, MEA seeks to develop a policy advocacy strategy to engage with policy and decision makers at a national and regional level.

Consultancy Objectives, Purpose and Expected Results

Overall Objective

The overall goal of the consultancy is to develop a policy advocacy strategy on FGM which will be used nationally in Liberia, Mali, Uganda, Kenya, and Nigeria as well as at a regional level. The advocacy strategy should include approaches on advocating for laws, policies and programmes that include engaging with men and boys in addressing FGM. The strategy should also include steps on how it can be implemented across the 5 countries and regionally with RECs and the A.U. Some of the key targets for the policy advocacy strategy include national and regional policy and decision-makers. The policy advocacy strategy will be ideal for use by MEA partners, civil society members and NGOs.


The consultant will be expected to deliver the following outputs:

  1. An inception report setting out the approach and timelines for the delivery of the scope of work
  2. A comprehensive FGM policy advocacy strategy

Location and Timing

The consultant will work from where they are based.


The project should be completed within 10 days.

Required Expertise

  • Strong conceptual and research/analytical skills with the ability to quickly analyse data and information from different sources and produce coherent reports.
  • Exceptional written and oral communication skills, with strong demonstrated ability to convey complex ideas in a clear, direct, and lively style.
  • Strong background in policy analysis and research.



Closing Date

27 November 2020