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Contracted service

External collaborator to conduct research and draft a report on women’s progress and setbacks in parliament in 2021

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is the global organization of parliaments. It was founded in 1889 as the first multilateral political organization in the world, encouraging cooperation and dialogue between all nations. Today, the IPU comprises 179 national Member Parliaments and 12 regional parliamentary bodies. It promotes democracy and helps parliaments become stronger, younger, gender-balanced and more diverse. It also defends the human rights of parliamentarians through a dedicated committee made up of MPs from around the world. Twice a year, the IPU convenes over 1,500 parliamentary delegates and partners in a world assembly, bringing a parliamentary dimension to global governance, including the work of the United Nations and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The IPU recognizes gender equality as a key component of democracy and works to achieve equal participation of men and women in politics. It monitors the participation of women in parliament at the global, regional and national levels and makes data available.  

The IPU produces an annual report on progress and setbacks for women’s participation in parliament (see the 2021 edition). Every year, the objective of the report is to analyze the results of elections held throughout the year, draw attention to developments, and highlight trends and lessons learned at the global, regional and national levels. The 2022 edition will also look at the impact of COVID-19 on women’s participation in parliament, intersecting forms of discrimination and related challenges faced by women in elections, and at the prevalence and forms of gender-based violence against women in politics witnessed in elections held across the globe in 2021. Particular attention will also be placed on identifying trends in terms of diversity among elected women.

Request for proposals

The IPU is seeking applications from qualified and experienced candidates to conduct research and draft a report on women’s progress and setbacks in parliament in 2021.

The assignment will include a home-based desk review, analysis of IPU data on women in parliament and the drafting of the report. The assignment is expected to be completed in a maximum of 30 working days, between 7 December 2021 and 1 March 2022.

Candidates should propose a daily rate and the expected number of days of work.

No travel or daily subsistence allowances will be covered by the IPU for this assignment.


  • Carry out a desk review between 7 December 2021 and 7 January 2022 related to parliamentary elections/renewals held in 2021, including through own research and analysis of data provided by the IPU as follows:
  • The political situation of the countries where elections were held in 2021 and how it has impacted the election of women
  • The results of those elections and the numbers and percentages of women elected, using IPU data (drawing on information provided by parliaments to the IPU and included in the IPU’s open data platform, Parline)
  • A comparison of results with previous election results (drawing on IPU data)
  • The existence and types of gender electoral quotas used (drawing on existing data and own research)
  • The number of women candidates (where available)
  • The prevalence of acts of violence against women candidates
  • Initiatives taken to boost the election of women
  • The impact of COVID-19
  • Intersecting forms of discrimination and related challenges faced by women in elections
  • Diversity among elected women.
  • Carry out additional research, during the drafting process, on elections for which results were not yet available by the end of December 2021 or early January 2022, and factor those results into the analysis and report.
  • Identify trends and lessons learned from achievements made and challenges faced, and highlight interesting practices at the national, regional or international levels.
  • Draw main conclusions about the global, regional and national levels of progress made and setbacks encountered for women’s participation in parliament based on elections and appointments in 2021, including in-depth analysis of specific countries that have seen remarkable progress or setbacks since the previous election.
  • Analyse how the COVID-19 crisis may have impacted positively or negatively the perception of women parliamentarians and their ability to carry out their mandate freely and safely; and how the ongoing pandemic may have affected women’s ability to campaign or their success rate at elections held in 2021.
  • Further analyse challenges and achievements in terms of participation of women from diverse backgrounds in the electoral process and their ability to get elected.
  • Produce and share with the IPU a file with updates on electoral gender quotas applied at 2021 parliamentary elections (by 20 December)
  • Draft and submit an 8-10 page report, as follows:
    • Share a preliminary draft with the IPU (10 January)
    • Incorporate comments received from the IPU (18–21 January)
    • Share a second draft with the IPU (24 January)
    • Incorporate comments received from the IPU (28 January-2 February)
    • Finalize and submit the final version of the report to the IPU (3 February)
  • Support the development of other communication materials, in particular:
    • Prepare key messages to support the launch and dissemination of the report (15-16 February)
    • Comment on draft press releases and other materials (21-25 February)

Required experience and qualifications

  • At least five years’ relevant professional experience in the field of gender equality and women’s rights
  • Excellent analysis and writing skills, proven skills in drafting reports and presenting and analysing data
  • Published work on women’s participation in politics
  • Recent research conducted in the field of women’s participation in parliament would be a strong asset
  • Proficiency in tabulation and analysis using MS Excel
  • Excellent drafting skills in English or French
Comment appliquer

Candidates should provide a curriculum vitae and a letter describing why they are the right person for this consultancy and providing information about their availability to begin work. One sample of published work on a related topic is required.

The deadline for applications is 2 December 2021.

Applications should be sent by e-mail to with "External collaborator-Report women in parliament" in the subject line. For further information about the external collaboration, please contact Zeina Hilal, Manager of the IPU Gender Partnership Programme (

Applicants will be contacted only if they are under serious consideration.

Applications received after the deadline will not be accepted.

Recruitment principles

Our guiding principle in selecting candidates is to secure the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity. We do not discriminate on any grounds and are committed to promoting diversity in our workforce. 

Particular attention is paid to candidates from developing countries and to achieving gender balance. We strive to provide an environment where the contribution of each individual is valued.

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