Developing East and Southern Africa (ESAR) Care Economy Definition Consultancy Opportunity in Kenya - The African Women's Development and Communications Network

Developing East and Southern Africa (ESAR) Care Economy Definition

  1. About FEMNET.

The African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET) is a pan-African, feminist and membership-based network based in Nairobi, Kenya with over 800 individual and institutional members across 50 African countries and in the diaspora. FEMNET envisions a society where African women and girls thrive in dignity and well-being, free from patriarchal and neoliberal oppression and injustices.

FEMNET recognizes that the commitment to alter relations of power, structural injustices, and systemic oppression lies at the heart of feminism. FEMNET is therefore committed to pushing towards altering power structures that perpetuate gender inequality by nurturing the African women’s movement to enable women and girls in their diversity to effectively claim, affirm, and use their collective power to end all forms of exclusion, oppression, exploitation, and injustices against them.

Founded in 1988, FEMNET exists to facilitate and coordinate the sharing of experiences, information, and strategies for human rights promotion among feminists, activists and women’s rights organizations as a strategy for collective organizing; policy influencing & advocacy; strategic communication; capacity strengthening as well as feminist solidarity and movement building.

Over the years, FEMNET has strategically positioned herself as a convener, organizer and facilitator of critical dialogues around women’s economic justice and rights; transformative women’s leadership; sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR); climate justice and natural resource governance as well as, ending all forms of violence and harmful/ discriminatory practices against women and girls.

FEMNET continues to be intentional in influencing decisions made at national, regional and global levels, constantly ensuring African women voices are amplified and their needs, priorities and aspirations are prioritized in key policy dialogues and outcomes that have direct and indirect impact on their lives. FEMNET mobilizes African women to hold their States accountable to women’s rights and gender equality commitments.

Vision: African women and girls thrive in dignity and well-being, free from patriarchal and neoliberal oppression and injustices.

Mission: To mobilize African women for the achievement of gender equality and the realization of women’s and girls’ rights at all levels.

FEMNET's Core Values.

  • Feminist solidarity
  • Respect for diversity
  • Intersectionality
  • Integrity
  • Commitment to women’s rights
  • Professionalism and learning
  1. Background and rationale

As the world responds to multiple crises that have impacted global economic and social order over the past decade i.e., conflicts, climate change and, in recent years, the Covid-19 pandemic, an increasingly emergent need for care at all levels within societies and towards the natural world is apparent. While the Covid-19 pandemic shocked most of the world into a near standstill, the result was a doubled, sometimes tripled, burden on care-givers world over, both domestic (mostly unpaid) and in the service sector (paid). Global trends highlight a significant role played by women and girls in providing most of this care, particularly in domestic settings, with data from the International Labor Organization (ILO) indicating a 76.2 percent share of unpaid care work performed by women1, over three times more than men. The burden of unpaid care work is a documented cause for widening gender inequalities, necessitating various calls to action for the recognition, reduction, and redistribution of care work towards a fairer and more equal world.

Care work, though critical to social and economic well-being and prosperous economies, remains largely ignored by economic and social public policy. Social-cultural and political perceptions of care work have ensured that it is consistently undervalued or provided as an unpaid service and contributes to occupational segregation and the undervaluing of the work women generally perform in the labour market, both within and outside the care sector. The Africa Care Economy Index highlights a longstanding neglect of the care economy by all states in Africa, underscoring the need for policies that enable adequate provisioning of care, and fair distribution of care work, in a manner that affords all individuals a dignified life, especially women and girls. The index also makes recommendations around broad policy and in-depth research required to begin enabling the recognition1, redistribution2 and, where necessary, the reduction3 of unpaid care work, as well as promoting the representation4 of, and decent work for, care workers including rewarding5 systems.


The United Nations for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (UN Women), in collaboration with key partners, will from 1st to 4th November 2022 host a Regional Sharefair on the ‘Care Economy,’ to raise awareness on women and girls’ unpaid care work and its implications on the economy. The conference will be held in Nairobi, Kenya. The Sharefair intends to develop an Africa definition on the care economy as well as strengthen the capacity and knowledge on unpaid care and domestic work in the region. The Sharefair will be three-folded, including the following components (1) developing an East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR) definition on the care economy, in particularly around the 5Rs and resilience; (2) strengthen the capacity of practitioners, partners, trade unions, cooperatives, government officials etc. on unpaid care and domestic work in ESAR and; (3) experts dialogue meeting to share best-practices, identify synergies and ways forward to increase advocacy on the care economy in the region. The three-day capacity development, sharing and learning event will provide opportunity to further explore the role of women and girls in building and strengthening resilience and promote dialogue. In addition to strengthening the capacity and understanding of the SDGs and the 5R strategy, from an ESAR perspective. The event will also facilitate a long-term collaboration amongst regional stakeholders with the aim of identifying problems, using data and predictive methods. The main expected outcome will be increasing the capacity of unpaid care and domestic work in ESAR, including the creation of a strong regional network to amplify resilience solutions beyond the Sharefair, sustaining change in policy and practice within relevant macro-economic frameworks. Eliminating discriminatory social norms and gender stereotypes, encouraging positive masculinities, and enacting care-friendly employment policies to balance work and family commitments, facilitated by culturally relevant education curricula and media and advocacy campaigns are one of the key means in addressing the inequalities in the care economy.

  1. Objectives of the consultancy .

FEMNET seeks to engage a consultant to support in drafting a working African definition on the care economy. The definition will be informed by realities of women and girls from East and Southern Africa sub regions of the continent. This definition will provide a foundation for collective understanding and appreciation of unpaid care and domestic work in the region thereby informing policy influencing and advocacy efforts. The definition of care will be based on the 5Rs and Resilience, and benchmarking target countries with those that have best practices.

  1. Scope of work.

  • Conduct a desk review on the state of care economies in East and Southern Africa to inform the definition
  • Consult relevant actors from East and Southern Africa sub region on the state of care economies and use the information to enhance the care economy definition
  • Develop a draft ESAR Care Economy definition with FEMNET and UNW that will be used as a basis of discussions during the regional Sharefair conference to be held from 1st to 4th November 2022
  • Attend and participate in the Sharefair conference to be held from 1st to 4th November 2022 in Nairobi, Kenya and follow proceedings to refine and strengthen the definition based on discussions
  • Develop a final definition of the East and Southern Africa Care Economy
  1. Deliverables & expected results .

  2. Draft definition on ESAR care economy ahead of the Sharefair conference to be held from 1st to 4th November 2022
  3. Final definition on ESAR care economy following the Sharefair conference
  4. Required Qualification, Skills and Competencies .

Academic Qualification .

  • Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences, Economics, Gender, Law or any other relevant discipline from a recognized university and master’s degree in a relevant field from a recognized university.


  • Progressively responsible experience of working on analyses of social and economic policy with a regional perspective
  • At least 3 years of experience in two or more areas of: (1) Labour market economics; (2) Research design; (3) Public social policy; (4) Local approaches to social service provision
  • Experience working in Africa and understanding of East and Southern Africa context
  • Outstanding communications skills, for a range of different audiences.
  1. Duration of Assignment.

This is a 10-day assignment upon signing of the contract.

  1. Liaison, Coordination and Reporting .

The consultant will report to the Economic Justice and Rights Lead.

  1. Selection of Consultant .

The consultant shall be contracted by FEMNET. The contract will include Withholding Tax (WHT) deduction in line with laws of contracting where FEMNET is headquartered. A WHT certificate will be issued to the consultant. Payment will be done through bank transfer to the consultant bank account. FEMNET will not meet the costs of bank charges. Payment schedule will be agreed upon with the consultant upon successful selection. In case of team/firm applicants, a designated assignment contract manager will be the contact between FEMNET and the team and responsible for all deliverables.

  1. Intellectual Property Rights .

The consultant expressly assigns to FEMNET any copyright arising from the outputs produced while executing the service contract. The consultant may not use, reproduce, disseminate, or authorize others to use, reproduce or disseminate any output produced under the service contract without prior consent from FEMNET.

  1. Terms of Service

This is a non-staff contract and therefore the consultant is not entitled to insurance, medical cover or any other status or conditions as FEMNET staff.

How to apply

  1. Application Process .

Interested applicants should send the following:

  • CV of not more than 3 pages, highlighting relevant experience
  • Cover letter highlighting relevant experience and date per day (the rate should be quoted in USD)
  • Sample work showcasing experience in handling similar assignment (this can be a research paper, report, etc)

Applications are by e-mails only, sent to: Please indicate the reference on the subject line as ‘FNT/EOI/87/2022-CARE Economy Definition. Deadline for submission of applications is on 20th October 2022.

Please note: Our recruitment and Selection procedures reflect our commitment to safety for all in all our activities. FEMNET is committed to welcoming people from the widest possible diversity of backgrounds, culture, and experience. We will make any practical adjustments to enable people with a disability to participate fully in an inclusive working environment. Please let us know in advance if you have a disability and require any special assistance in making your application. FEMNET upholds the highest ethical standards. We are committed to the prevention of sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment as well as other ethical breaches.

Only applicants who have been shortlisted for an interview will be contacted.