Human Rights Watch
  • Location
    Multiple Locations Considered, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Early Career / Mid Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Mar 10

Position description

Women's Rights Division
Multiple Locations Considered
Application Deadline: March 31, 2023

The Women’s Rights Division (WRD) of Human Rights Watch (HRW) is seeking a Researcher to investigate, analyze, and advocate against human rights abuses relating to women in Africa. The Researcher will work to improve awareness and accountability for human rights violations against women in the region, in particular regarding reproductive justice. The work will focus, at least initially, on abortion rights, prevention of maternal mortality, and abuse during childbirth, in two countries that are yet to be determined.

This is a fixed term, two-year position reporting to the Deputy Director of the Women’s Rights Division. This position will preferably be based in Nairobi or Johannesburg but other locations in Africa or locations with a global office will be considered.

The successful candidate may have the option to work remotely. 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 governments, local media, NGOs, victims, witnesses, journalists, diplomats, security forces and others in the field;

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 government officials, opinion leaders, inter-governmental agencies, and the media;

6. Assist the Deputy Director of the Division in conducting fundraising;

7. Work closely with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and local human rights organizations 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 overseas, as required, to conduct fact-finding missions;

11. Deliver outputs in a timely manner and be consistent with the agreed strategy and priorities of the Program; and

12. Perform other responsibilities, as may be required.


Education: An advanced (graduate) degree or equivalent work experience in international relations, journalism, law, social sciences, or related studies is required.

Experience: A minimum of three years of relevant experience working on women’s rights in Africa at a national and regional level is required; experience living in the region is essential. Experience working on reproductive rights and justice is desirable.

Related Skills and Knowledge:

1. Ability to identify, research, analyze and effectively communicate important human rights developments on women’s rights in Africa 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 the region 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 Deputy 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 and African human rights law is required.

6. Excellent oral and written communication skills in English are Proficiency in French or Swahili 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.

Salary and Benefits: Human Rights Watch offers competitive salary and comprehensive employer-paid benefits. HRW offers relocation assistance package and will assist employees in obtaining necessary work authorization, if required; citizens of all nationalities are encouraged to apply.

Application instructions

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