The Spotlight Initiative Africa Regional Programme (SIARP), the UN, on behalf of the appointed Regional Reference Group Selection Committee has launched a call for applications for the establishment of the Civil Society Regional Reference Group (CS-RRG) to harness civil society expertise and inform implementation of the Africa Regional Programme.
The Spotlight Initiative Africa Regional Programme (SIARP) intends to work closely with women’s movements and relevant human rights–based civil society organizations on implementation of its programmes in a mutually supportive and reinforcing way, deploying and building upon their vast knowledge and experience. To this end, the Initiative wishes to establish a Civil Society Regional Reference Group (CS-RRG) as an institutional mechanism.
- The CS-RRG will have a dual responsibility – as advisors to the Spotlight Initiative Africa Regional Programme and as advocates and partners for the realization of its objectives.
- In addition to advising the Regional Steering Committee of the Initiative and Stream I Steering Committee, the CS-RRG will have a close working relationship with the Spotlight Initiative Africa Coordination Unit to ensure its systematic engagement in providing technical advice and informing programming on addressing VAWG and HPs, including for vulnerable groups as defined in the Africa Regional Programme document,1 which is key to responding to Agenda 2030’s ‘leaving no one behind’ imperative.
- The CS-RRG will nominate members to serve on the Regional Steering Committee and Stream I Steering Committee of the Spotlight Initiative Africa Regional Programme as full voting representatives (civil society representatives must comprise a minimum of 20% of the total membership of all multi-stakeholder committees that form part of the governance structure of the Initiative at the regional level).
The regional initiative includes two streams namely:
- Stream 1: supporting the overall regional response to addressing SGVB HP and SRHR;
- Stream 2: supporting the regional response to prevention of harmful practices focusing specifically on FGM and Child Marriage.
The CS-RRG will have the following functions:
- Provide inputs and recommendations on key issues related to VAWG and HP in Africa, as well as on the strategic direction of the Spotlight Initiative and issues related to public policy at the regional level
- Act as partners in advocacy and communication activities, including the dissemination of the Spotlight Initiative messages to the public, especially social movements, including those of women, youth, and the media.
- Provide advice on ongoing programme interventions, possibilities to scale them and address the challenges that may arise
- Serve as an interactive space and an open forum for dialogue / learning between the Spotlight Initiative and women’s rights organizations working on SGBV, HPs and SRHR
- Provide other relevant information, analysis and lessons learned that can feed into the future programming and advocacy efforts of the Spotlight Initiative
- Support the monitoring efforts of the Spotlight Initiative Africa Regional Steering Committee and advise on the implementation of the Programme
- The CS-RRG will build partnership and linkages with the Civil Society Reference Groups at national and global levels, as well as traditional leaders, pan-African women’s organizations and CSOs on AUC’s campaigns and advocacy initiatives on EVAW, ECM and elimination of FGM.
- Designate its representatives in the two Steering Committees (at Regional level and Stream I level of the Regional programme).
Note: At least 20% of the Spotlight Initiative Africa Regional Steering Committee members will be civil society representatives from and nominated by the Civil Society Regional Reference Group
Duration of the mandate
- Members of the CS-RRG will serve for a period from November 2021 to 31 December, 2022.
The CS-RRG is a group of around 15 pre-eminent regional experts on eliminating violence against women and girls (VAWG) and harmful practices (HP) as well as on women’s rights more broadly including Sexual and Reproductive Health rights. The CS-RRG will be composed of experts from East Africa, South Africa, West and Central Africa and North Africa:
- All members included in the CS-RRG should be leaders or members of regional/subregional women’s rights organizations/networks, including women’s funds, with 8- 10 years of experience working on women’s rights and gender equality and have expertise in eliminating VAWG and HPs using a human rights-based approach
- Members should include individuals with knowledge of human rights and feminist frameworks and experience in issues of protection
- In adherence with the leaving no one behind (LNOB) principle, vulnerable groups and people with disabilities as defined in the Africa Regional Programme, should be well represented, and considered for inclusion
- Geographic balance will be a key consideration to ensure fair representation of all states/regions/districts on the CS-RRG.
- At least 50% of the CS-RRG members should represent women’s rights movements and feminist organizations
- The Group should include representatives from important constituencies such as youth networks, traditional leaders, faith-based groups and networks of men and boys working on eliminating VAWG using a human rights-based approach
- CS-RRG members will not have any formal affiliations with governments or political parties
- CS-RRG members join the group in their individual capacities and not as representatives of their organizations
Note: Knowledge of English will not be a pre-condition for participation in the CS-RRG. All efforts will be made to ensure language accessibility (five AU languages – English, French, Arabic, Portuguese and Spanish), which will vary at the regional level, as well as accessibility to physical spaces.
For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3bUZwGS