Mashreq Gender Facility Legal Consultant - Lebanon
In line with the Ministry of State for Economic Empowerment of Women and Youth's mandate, The Mashreq Gender Facility, launched on January 19, 2019 in Beirut, Lebanon, will provide technical assistance to the Mashreq countries to enhance women’s economic opportunities as a catalyst towards more inclusive, sustainable, and peaceful societies, where economic growth benefits all. Through collaboration with private sector, civil society and development partners, the Facility will support government-led efforts, country level priorities and strategic regional activities that: (i) Strengthen the enabling environment for relevant stakeholders to effectively identify and address constraints to women’s economic participation; and, (b) Improve women’s access to economic opportunities.
Gender equality is smart economics, contributing to poverty reduction, strengthening resilience and boosting shared prosperity. Empowering women and girls have an intrinsic value and is instrumental to achieve more inclusive institutions, sound policies, and effective development outcomes.
In the Mashreq countries of Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon important gains have been made in women’s access to education and health, but persistent challenges remain in women’s economic opportunities. In the Mashreq countries, around 1 in 5 women work and less than 5% of firms are led by a woman. Legally, there are certain restrictions related to areas and tasks in which women can work in all three countries. Women also have less access to formal financial services. Furthermore, countries are faced with context-specific problems, especially in the face of fragility and conflict.
Increased female economic participation would contribute to inclusive growth, and to help grow the middle class. Closing the gender gap in labor force participation rates by 25 percent can boost GDP (PPP terms) by 9 percent in Lebanon, 10 percent in Jordan and 11 percent in Iraq (ILO 2018).
The Facility will support country level activities guided by government developed Action Plans. The Facility will also support Regional activities to take advantage of economies of scale and to support activities that effect all three countries. Activities of the 5-year Facility (2019-2024) will be identified under three, interconnected, pillars:
i. Dialogue & Participation: building capacity and awareness at all levels, convening stakeholders across sectors and segments
ii. Data & Knowledge: country and regional data and analytics for evidence-based policies
iii. Innovating for Results: testing and assessing interventions to identify solutions and provide support to catalytic initiatives that boost women’s economic opportunities
Many laws and regulations continue to prevent women from entering the workforce or starting a business; discrimination that can have lasting effects on women’s economic inclusion and labor force participation. Economies that failed to implement reforms towards gender equality over the past ten years, saw a smaller increase in the percentage of women working overall and in the percentage of women working relative to men. In Lebanon, some of the most important labor protective provisions to women’s employment and family’s work-life balance in the public and private sector are occupational segregation; incentives and benefits to employees at the workplace; protections at the workplace; and entrepreneurship.
Applicants can refer to the World Bank Group publication “Women, Business and the Law 2019: A Decade of Reform “ for a global review of laws affecting women in the workplace. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/31327/WBL2019...
OBJECTIVE & TASKS
The main objective of the consultancy is to provide legal support and advice to reach the objectives outlined in the Government of Lebanon’s MGF work plan of removing legal impediment to women’s access to employment. This legal support will include, amongst other tasks, reviewing legislative frameworks related to women’s economic empowerment, developing legal analysis and drafting proposed legislation and/or amendment to current laws/regulations, as well as facilitating consultations and/or conducting workshops with key stakeholders on the proposed draft legislation/amendment to current laws/regulations. The selected Consultant will work closely with the Government of Lebanon’s National Coordinator for the Mashreq Gender Facility workplan and World Bank Group team, on the tasks and produce the deliverables outlined below.
TASKS AND DELIVERABLES
The initial contract will run from September 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020, and the Consultant will conduct the following minimum set of activities and deliverables:
• Develop a work plan to support the Mashreq Gender Facility plan.
• Act in a legal advisory capacity to the MGF team on the legislative process in Lebanon, strengthening the reviews of the referenced draft laws and amendments and support advocacy and outreach related to women’s economic empowerment and the abolishment of discriminatory laws and policies.
• Provide technical legal expertise and conduct legal analysis and research on best practices as required; draft legal policy papers in support of legal reform efforts (i.e. economic argument), and proposed amendments to selected draft laws based on international best practices adapted to Lebanon’s context (on Sexual Harassment Law ,draft laws on NSSF laws, flexible work, paternity leave, and labor law discriminations among others).
• Identify key legal challenges for women’s economic empowerment and engagement and recommend best practices.
• Engage key stakeholders to prepare for parliamentary, Government of Lebanon briefings, advocacy activities, media and outreach for the adoption of key laws, legislations, and execution decrees to remove discrimination against women and to support their participation and protection in the economic life.
• The legal consultant will participate in up to 14 workshops with key stakeholders (such as Parliamentarians, senior government officials and civil society organizations), delivering content related to the legal reform priorities by delivering presentations, trainings, and consultation sessions.
• The legal consultant will conduct consultations with the private sector on the implementation framework of the above-mentioned laws and regulations; explore international best practices and identify incentives with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and hold up to 4 roundtables with private sector.
• Suggest media engagement as needed for raising awareness and advocacy on proposed legal amendments, especially when approved by the Government of Lebanon.
• The legal consultant will perform other tasks as needed by the National Coordinator and World Bank team.
The selected consultant will work closely with the National Coordinator and the World Bank team and provide weekly updates on the development of his/her workplan.