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WILPF Is Looking for a Human Rights Programme Associate

We are seeking to hire a part-time (50%) Human Rights Programme Associate based in Geneva committed to feminist values and human rights.

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WILPF International Secretariat
20 January 2023


The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) is a leading global organisation focused on addressing the root causes of violence through a feminist lens. We have National Sections covering every continent, an International Secretariat based in Geneva, and a New York office focused on the work of the United Nations (UN). Since our establishment in 1915, we have brought together women from around the world who are united in working for peace by non-violent means and promoting political, economic and social justice for all. We are working to create a world of permanent peace built on feminist foundations of freedom, justice, nonviolence, human rights, and equality for all.

Job Purpose and Definition

WILPF’s vision is reflected and embedded in our Constitution, our 2015 Manifesto, and WILPF International Programme (2022–2025), which guides the work, values, and actions of the key bodies of the organisation, including the International Secretariat (IS). 

The Human Rights Programme Associate works as part of a small team in the WILPF International Secretariat (IS) to actively contribute to its work on human rights. This includes supporting local women human rights defenders’ engagement with international human rights bodies, and connecting the themes of disarmament, gender, peace and security, corporate accountability, environment, and non-discrimination to WILPF’s advocacy with UN human rights mechanisms, such as the Universal Periodic Review, treaty bodies, the Human rights Council and the UN Special Procedures.

Main Responsibilities

  • Map advocacy opportunities in the UN human rights system to support the development of the Human Rights Programme’s work plans and strategies.
  • Support the monitoring, analysis, and reporting on thematic and country developments in relevant UN human rights bodies.
  • Draft, edit, and finalise submissions to UN human rights bodies and other WILPF human rights advocacy documents. This work includes liaising with WILPF national Sections and Groups as well as WILPF partners, and carrying out desk research as needed.
  • Analyse outcomes of WILPF’s advocacy with UN human rights bodies.
  • Collect and analyse feedback on results, learnings, and challenges from human rights advocacy activities.
  • Support the development of training materials and other training activities carried out by the Human Rights Programme.
  • Liaise with WILPF national Sections, Groups and WILPF partners to support the implementation of the Human Rights Programme’s activities and support their engagement with human rights bodies and the diplomatic community in Geneva.
  • Collaborate across WILPF to coordinate work and update teams on human rights developments that will feed into plans and projects across the organisation.
  • Support the development and management of project plans consistent with WILPF strategic priorities, as well as the Human Rights Programme’s contribution to Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) processes.
  • Provide administrative and organisational support including internal and external meeting scheduling and taking of meeting minutes, assisting with planning events and their logistical preparations, managing travel logistics, and file/data management.
  • Ensure timely posting of WILPF human rights reports and other documents on the WILPF’s  website and other relevant platforms. 
  • Provide general administrative support to the team as needed and as relevant.

Interdependencies and Reporting

The Human Rights Associate will report to the Human Rights Programme Director and will work very closely with the Human Rights Programme Coordinator, both based in Geneva. The Human Rights Associate also works closely with other WILPF IS colleagues in Geneva, New York, and worldwide. The Human Rights Associate maintains key relationships with WILPF national Sections, Groups, and WILPF partners; diplomats; and UN experts and UN staff.

Knowledge, Skills and Competencies

  • A keen interest and commitment to WILPF’s values and mission. Demonstrated commitment to human rights and to feminist values.                                                                              
  • Ability to effectively communicate across a multicultural and multilingual staff, as well as with internationally based membership sections and partners. Ability to work cooperatively in a multi-cultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
  • Integrity and professional discretion, and ability to establish relationships based on trust with activists, diplomats, NGO representatives, and other actors.
  • Excellent organisational skills with the ability to prioritise work and take initiative. Detail oriented. Ability to quickly pivot to evolving organisational priorities, based on fluid programmatic contexts. Ability to plan and prioritise work to ensure deadlines are met.
  • Ability to manage and complete several tasks simultaneously while meeting tight deadlines.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and the ability to write in a way that is clear and concise, and to adapt it to different audiences. Ability to critically analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from different sources.
  • Practical, and efficient with a structured yet creative approach to problem-solving.
  • Enthusiastic and reliable team player, yet independent and self-reliant. Ability to be self-motivated, and to take initiative as needed.
  • Demonstrate a willingness to learn, remain open minded, and flexible.
  • Ability to develop and maintain accurate records and files.

Education and Experience

  • A university degree in gender studies, human rights, international relations, or a related field.
  • A minimum of 2 years of work experience on human rights issues, ideally with a focus on gender, non-discrimination, or peace and security issues. Relevant internships and traineeships will be considered as part of work experience.
  • Fluency in English is required.
  • Fluency in French or Spanish is required; fluency in both is a plus. Knowledge of other languages is a plus. 
  • Demonstrated human rights activism or previous experience with feminist movements/organisations, peace movements/organisations, or other civil society organisations.
  • Demonstrated advocacy experience with human rights bodies at the international level (e.g. UN human rights bodies), regional level (e.g. the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights) or national level.
  • Demonstrated experience in drafting reports on the impact of laws, policies, and practices for use in human rights advocacy. Ability to draft advocacy fact sheets and statements in a clear and concise manner.
  • Demonstrated experience in communications for various media sources, including social media and experience in drafting articles/blogs for the general public is highly desirable.
  • Demonstrated experience in organising or planning meetings, including experience in managing meeting logistics.
  • Demonstrated experience in monitoring and reporting on external meetings.
  • Demonstrated experience in contributing to Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) processes is desirable.


WILPF will provide the Human Rights Programme Associate with compensation commensurate with experience. Compensation is based on the location of the selected candidate and will be prorated based on work rate.

The annual salary range for the position is 60,000 – 62,000 CHF.  

Please note that this is a part-time (50%) position.

Start Date

1 June 2023


This position is based in Geneva. Only candidates from Switzerland, from an EU/EFTA country, or candidates already having a valid Swiss working permit will be considered as we do not have the possibility to obtain a work permit for non-EU/EFTA candidates for this type of position. Only candidates with work authorisation in Switzerland will be considered.


  • Your CV (maximum two pages without a photograph).  
  • A cover letter (maximum one page) explaining how you meet the requirements of the role, why you want to work for an international feminist organisation, and how you would further WILPF’s human rights work.
  • A short explanation of how you have the right to work in Geneva.
  • What language(s) you speak and the level(s) of fluency.
  • Years of work experience on human rights issues.

Please send to with “Human Rights Programme Associate” in the subject line. Please note that any applications without a cover letter will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: 3 February 2023.

WILPF thanks all applicants for your interest; however, only shortlisted applicants will be contacted. The position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate has been identified.

WILPF is an Equal Opportunity Employer                                                                                                    

As an equal opportunity employer, WILPF welcomes applications from all suitably qualified candidates, irrespective of sex, gender, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, ethnic or social origin, disability, religion, or belief. During the different stages of the recruitment process, specific measures may be taken to ensure equal opportunities for candidates with disabilities.

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WILPF International Secretariat

WILPF International Secretariat, with offices in Geneva and New York, liaises with the International Board and the National Sections and Groups for the implementation of WILPF International Programme, resolutions and policies as adopted by the International Congress. Under the direction of the Secretary-General, the Secretariat also provides support in areas of advocacy, communications, and financial operations.

Melissa Torres


Prior to being elected Vice-President, Melissa Torres was the WILPF US International Board Member from 2015 to 2018. Melissa joined WILPF in 2011 when she was selected as a Delegate to the Commission on the Status of Women as part of the WILPF US’ Practicum in Advocacy Programme at the United Nations, which she later led. She holds a PhD in Social Work and is a professor and Global Health Scholar at Baylor College of Medicine and research lead at BCM Anti-Human Trafficking Program. Of Mexican descent and a native of the US/Mexico border, Melissa is mostly concerned with the protection of displaced Latinxs in the Americas. Her work includes training, research, and service provision with the American Red Cross, the National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Centre, and refugee resettlement programs in the U.S. Some of her goals as Vice-President are to highlight intersectionality and increase diversity by fostering inclusive spaces for mentorship and leadership. She also contributes to WILPF’s emerging work on the topic of displacement and migration.

Jamila Afghani


Jamila Afghani is the President of WILPF Afghanistan which she started in 2015. She is also an active member and founder of several organisations including the Noor Educational and Capacity Development Organisation (NECDO). Elected in 2018 as South Asia Regional Representative to WILPF’s International Board, WILPF benefits from Jamila’s work experience in education, migration, gender, including gender-based violence and democratic governance in post-conflict and transitional countries.

Sylvie Jacqueline Ndongmo


Sylvie Jacqueline NDONGMO is a human rights and peace leader with over 27 years experience including ten within WILPF. She has a multi-disciplinary background with a track record of multiple socio-economic development projects implemented to improve policies, practices and peace-oriented actions. Sylvie is the founder of WILPF Cameroon and was the Section’s president until 2022. She co-coordinated the African Working Group before her election as Africa Representative to WILPF’s International Board in 2018. A teacher by profession and an African Union Trainer in peace support operations, Sylvie has extensive experience advocating for the political and social rights of women in Africa and worldwide.

WILPF Afghanistan

In response to the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban and its targeted attacks on civil society members, WILPF Afghanistan issued several statements calling on the international community to stand in solidarity with Afghan people and ensure that their rights be upheld, including access to aid. The Section also published 100 Untold Stories of War and Peace, a compilation of true stories that highlight the effects of war and militarisation on the region. 

IPB Congress Barcelona

WILPF Germany (+Young WILPF network), WILPF Spain and MENA Regional Representative

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WILPF uses feminist analysis to argue that militarisation is a counter-productive and ill-conceived response to establishing security in the world. The more society becomes militarised, the more violence and injustice are likely to grow locally and worldwide.

Sixteen states are believed to have supplied weapons to Afghanistan from 2001 to 2020 with the US supplying 74 % of weapons, followed by Russia. Much of this equipment was left behind by the US military and is being used to inflate Taliban’s arsenal. WILPF is calling for better oversight on arms movement, for compensating affected Afghan people and for an end to all militarised systems.

Militarised masculinity

Mobilising men and boys around feminist peace has been one way of deconstructing and redefining masculinities. WILPF shares a feminist analysis on the links between militarism, masculinities, peace and security. We explore opportunities for strengthening activists’ action to build equal partnerships among women and men for gender equality.

WILPF has been working on challenging the prevailing notion of masculinity based on men’s physical and social superiority to, and dominance of, women in Afghanistan. It recognizes that these notions are not representative of all Afghan men, contrary to the publicly prevailing notion.

Feminist peace​

In WILPF’s view, any process towards establishing peace that has not been partly designed by women remains deficient. Beyond bringing perspectives that encapsulate the views of half of the society and unlike the men only designed processes, women’s true and meaningful participation allows the situation to improve.

In Afghanistan, WILPF has been demanding that women occupy the front seats at the negotiating tables. The experience of the past 20 has shown that women’s presence produces more sustainable solutions when they are empowered and enabled to play a role.

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