Work at Sonke

Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) Specialist

About Sonke 

Founded in 2006, Sonke is a women’s rights organisation that is committed to feminist principles, using a rights-based and gender transformative approach to achieve human rights and gender justice. Our vision is a poverty-free world in which women, children, men and gender non-conforming individuals enjoy equitable, caring, healthy and happy relationships that contribute to the development of gender-just and democratic societies. Sonke strengthens governments, civil society and citizen’s capacity to advance gender justice and women’s rights, prevent gender-based violence and reduce the spread of HIV and the impact of AIDS, and in this way contribute to social justice and the elimination of poverty.

About the Position

The Civil Society and Media – Strengthened Together and Advancing in New Directions (CSM-STAND) project works closely with USAID Missions, Regional Bureaus and Independent Offices to leverage and strengthen civil society and media’s capacities to credibly represent citizen interests and hold governments accountable through advocacy, oversight and outreach. It aims to catalyze local, regional and cross-regional approaches that foster independent civic forces, enhance civic engagement, and build vibrant, resilient and sustainable civil society and media sectors.

Under the CSM-STAND project, Sonke seeks to recruit a Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) Specialist to be based in its Johannesburg or Cape Town offices, or to work from Maseru, Lesotho. The GESI Specialist will be responsible for supporting the design, implementation and monitoring of gender equality, social inclusion and diversity-related programming under CSM-STAND and across the broader scope of the organization’s work.

Specific responsibilities include:

  1. Supporting the integration of gender equality and social inclusion across the CSM-STAND projects in their programme design, implementation and monitoring.
  2. Working closely with the Programmes Director to develop a GESI/Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)-related Community of Practice for the CSM-STAND project;
  3. Developing GESI/DEI related material including training manuals and learning tools;
  4. Conducting GESI/DEI training for different internal and external stakeholders;
  5. Supporting the development and uptake of safeguarding approaches on the CSM-STAND projects; and 
  6. Providing technical expertise as needed for GESI-related strategic planning, thought-leadership and programming more broadly at Sonke.

Qualifications and experience

  • An advanced degree in a relevant field, including at least an Honours in social sciences, with a preference for gender studies as a core subject. Studies should have provided a strong grounding in gender, social justice, sociology, political science, health, and/or human rights.
  • At least four years of proven experience in civil society, with a focus on enhancing gender equality, social inclusion and diversity outcomes on projects (especially through applying intersectional feminism to diversity and inclusion work with a focus on LGBTIQ+ rights, race, class, ethnic and migration)
  • At least 1-2 years of proven experience of efficiently supporting GESI/DEI work on bilateral-funded project, with a preference for direct experience with USAID.
  • Experience in feminist thought and praxis, with demonstrated commitment to principles of feminism and feminist leadership.
  • Experience of working with multiple internal and external stakeholders – experience of working with community-based stakeholders and added advantage.
  • Significant experience with at least two of the following technical areas, i.e. gender justice, diversity and inclusion, health and human rights.
  • Must be willing to travel at least 20-30% of the time.

Desired Interpersonal Skills

  • Must be a persuasive communicator with excellent writing, editing and public speaking skills in English, preferably also in a second South African language and/or SeSotho.
  • Proven ability to excel as a collegial member of a diverse team and in working in a multicultural cross-continental working environment;
  • Excellent diplomatic and problem-solving abilities, comfortable working in a fast-paced environment, and the ability to engage in and contribute to on-going socio-political debates.
  • Must be discrete and able to handle confidential matters with integrity.
  • Must have well-developed emotional intelligence, including self-awareness, self-management and empathy.
  • Attention to detail and the ability to prioritise work and manage deadlines

Application Process

  • Interested applicants should submit their CV, a motivational letter that details your experience, the contact details of three referees, to Sonke’s Human Resource Unit at closing date 31 October 2022.
  • For non-South Africans, it is the responsibility of the applicant to attain a work permit from the Department of Home Affairs, and employment will depend on a valid work permit being in place. 
  • Sonke is committed to racial and gender transformation and encourages previously disadvantaged individuals to apply. 
  • Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. If you do not hear from us by 30 November 2022, please consider your application unsuccessful. 
  • The organisation reserves the right not to make an appointment.  


Cape Town or Johannesburg


Fixed term appointment


R480 000.00 Per Annum

Closing Date

31 October 2022