Researcher, Women’s Rights At Human Rights Watch

Women’s Rights Division
Multiple locations considered; Africa preferred
Application Deadline: April 14, 2021

The Women’s Right Division of Human Rights Watch (“HRW”) is seeking short term support for its work on women’s rights in Africa. The person in this position will help support work on gender-based violence, including sexual violence in conflict, and girls’ access to education, and will help the Women’s Rights Division to develop and implement advocacy activities, design new research, and review work by other divisions within HRW. This is a full-time, fixed-term position for six (6) months, with the possibility of extension. The Researcher will preferably be based in Africa.

Due to COVID-19, many of our global offices are currently closed or operating in reduced capacities. The successful candidate will be required to work remotely. We recognize that this moment, during the pandemic, is a uniquely difficult time for most people, particularly those with caregiving responsibilities, and we aim to be as flexible and supportive as possible in both the recruitment for and onboarding of this position.


  1. Research, monitor and document human rights abuses by collecting and analyzing information from a wide variety of sources including survivors, victims, companies, experts, activists, governments, local media, NGOs, and others ;
  2. Write and publicize reports, briefing papers, letters, news releases, op-eds, and submissions to international bodies based on the findings; collect supporting documents and materials such as photographs and videos;
  3. Assist in the development and implementation of local, regional, and international strategies to change abusive laws, policies, and practices;
  4. Respond promptly to queries from the media, public, and colleagues in the human rights community and take initiative to project concerns in public debate;
  5. Place abuses within the broader political, social and economic contexts and present human rights concerns to companies, government officials, opinion leaders, inter-governmental agencies, international bodies, and the media;
  6. Assist the Executive Director of the Women’s Rights Division and HRW’s Development and Outreach Department in conducting fundraising;
  7. Work closely with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and local human rights organizations and activists to ensure that HRW’s work complements and enhances their own work;
  8. Liaise effectively with HRW staff located in multiple locations throughout the world to ensure effective coordination and delivery of activities;
  9. Be prepared and willing to work flexible hours to accommodate developing and urgent events;
  10. Travel domestically and internationally, as required, to conduct fact-finding missions and advocacy;
  11. Deliver outputs in a timely manner and be consistent with the agreed strategy and priorities of the Women’s Rights Division; and
  12. Carry out any other duties as required.


Education: An advanced (graduate) degree in women’s studies, international relations, journalism, law, social sciences, or related studies is required. Candidates with equivalent experience or training and a passion for human rights work are encouraged to apply.

Experience: Minimum three years of relevant experience working on women’s rights in Africa is required.

Related Skills and Knowledge:

  1. Ability to identify, research, analyze and effectively communicate important human rights developments in the area of specialty is required.
  2. Ability and sensitivity to conduct interviews with a wide range of people, including victims and witnesses are required.
  3. Ability to efficiently distil information about women’s rights in Africa so as to focus time and effort on issues of greatest importance or issues that are most capable of being influenced is required.
  4. Ability to identify and advise the Executive Director of the Women’s Rights Division in developing and implementing advocacy strategies in order to seize advocacy opportunities is required.
  5. Knowledge of and experience working in international human rights and familiarity with international human rights law is required.
  6. Excellent oral and written communication skills in English are required; proficiency in another language is desirable and proficiency in French is highly desirable.
  7. Strong initiative and follow-through, the capacity to think creatively and strategically, excellent writing and editing skills, and a dynamic public speaking ability are required.
  8. Strong interpersonal skills in order to work collaboratively within HRW, as well as with external partners, are required.
  9. Ability to multi-task effectively, including having good planning and organizing skills and ability to work under pressure are required.
  10. Ability to make sound decisions consistent with functions is required.
  11. Demonstrated ability to think strategically about the global and local media environments and how to use the media and electronic media to further advocacy goals is desirable.

Other: Applicants must possess work authorization for the location in which they seek to work, immigration assistance will not be provided for this position.

Salary and Benefits: HRW seeks exceptional applicants and offers competitive compensation and employer-paid benefits.

Human Rights Watch is strong because it is diverse. We actively seek a diverse applicant pool and encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply. Human Rights Watch does not discriminate on the basis of ability, age, gender identity and expression, national origin, race and ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or criminal record. We welcome all kinds of diversity. Our employees include people who are parents and nonparents, the self-taught and university educated, and from a wide span of socio-economic backgrounds and perspectives on the world. Human Rights Watch is an equal opportunity employer.

Human Rights Watch is an international human rights monitoring and advocacy organization known for its in-depth investigations, its incisive and timely reporting, its innovative and high-profile advocacy campaigns, and its success in changing the human rights-related policies and practices of influential governments and international institutions.

How to apply

How to Apply: Please apply immediately or by April 14, 2021 by visiting our online job portal at and attaching a cover letter and a resume or CV, preferably as PDF files. No calls or email inquiries, please. Only complete applications will be reviewed and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

If you are experiencing technical difficulties with your application submission, please email [email protected]. Due to the large response, application submissions via email will not be accepted and inquiries regarding the status of applications will go unanswered.

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June 2023
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