Job Vacancy: Research Consultant Needed

DEADLINE: 5pm 6th MAY 2022

AkiDwA-The Migrant Women’s Network Ireland is looking to recruit a consultant to carry out a survey on the attitude and understanding of Female Genital Mutilation among Educational Professionals in Ireland and review of the Handbook on FGM among Educational Professionals.

INTRODUCTION

Established in 2001, Akina Dada wa Africa (AkiDwA), Swahili for sisterhood, is a network of African and other migrant women living in Ireland. AkiDwA’s vision is a just society where there is equal opportunity and equal access to rights and entitlements in all aspects of society: social, cultural, economic, civic and political. AkiDwA’s mission is to promote equality and justice for migrant women living in Ireland.

BACKGROUND

AkiDwA was established in 2001 as a network of African women living in Ireland.  The network quickly became a diverse grouping of African women of different nationalities, religious backgrounds and socio economic and legal status.  Migrant women from outside of Africa also sought to join the network and participate in its networking events.  Thus, the network now caters for all migrant women while remaining rooted in its African background.

The organisation is highly recognised for its work on Gender based violence. AkiDwA has been championing work on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the last two decade, leading to the development of Female Genital Mutilation Act 2012. The organisation has delivered training and awareness raising programmes to over 7000 healthcare and frontline staff, developed guidelines and tools on FGM for healthcare professionals, teachers as well reaching out to the affected communities alongside the recruitment and engagement of Community Health Ambassadors (CHA’s).

Rationale

The practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is prevalent in 29 African countries and is also practiced in Middle East and Asia. Lately, research has emerged pointing to the fact that the practice of FGM is also present in South American countries.

In Ireland, almost 6000 women are living with the consequences of FGM. On the same note, around 1600 girls are at a high risk of being subjected to the practice of FGM. AkiDwA has been working on FGM in Ireland for over 20 years.

The hidden nature of the practice of FGM makes it very difficult to reach out to women who have undergone the practice. More worrying and closely related to the hidden nature of the practice is the opportunities which we keep missing when it comes to protecting girls. This is because the practicing communities keep on being innovative as some are quite determined to ensure that their daughters already living here in Europe and Ireland to be precise must undergo the practice as it is a treasured cultural practice. This causes the community to close down on any efforts to engage them on ending FGM. The first case of FGM in Ireland which resulted in conviction in January 2020 is a wakeup call to intensify our work on ending FGM, and to get innovative on ways and methodologies of engaging affected communities.

The purpose of this survey and review of handbook for teachers and educational professionals is to help AkiDwA engage frontline workers such as teachers who we consider very important conduits in spotting issues which might be going on with migrant children in schools, and especially those related to their reproductive bodies and human rights violations such as FGM to be precise.

Objective

The general objective of the review and survey is to ensure that the contents of the 2nd education are up to date and incorporate the views of teachers and educational professionals which will be captured through the survey. This is because AkiDwA as an organisation is keen on seeing a beyond average uptake in the interest of FGM work by teachers and educational professionals who come in contact with the vast majority of children from practicing communities in the classroom as well as in other settings. We are also conscious of the fact that the same professionals work closely with parents of children from affected communities and hence very key in preventing FGM in the community. The survey will send a light on what we need to do to get teachers and educational professionals interested in FGM work and more importantly, how to do it. We also envisage that through this review, we may get some ideas on how to work with parents of girls from affected communities as some of them are hard to reach. Furthermore, it will also inform future tailoring of funding proposals to donors and funders who fund our work on FGM.

The survey and review aim to: –

  1. To get the views of educational professionals on FGM.
  2. To gauge the level of knowledge and understanding of the issue of FGM among educational professionals.
  3. To document gaps in levels of awareness of what FGM is and how these gaps can be bridged so that protection for vulnerable girls can be increased.
  4. To document educational professionals’ expectations on how they would like to see future engagement with them on the delicate and hidden issue of FGM carried out in Ireland in education settings and how the community can be brought in to have healthy conversations on this issue.
  5. To document teachers’ experiences with children from FGM practicing communities.
  6. To document teachers’ experiences with parents from affected communities affected by FGM.
  7. To identify strategies for the effective prevention of FGM in education settings and most importantly how to talk about it.
  8. To point to ways on how AkiDwA can set a community of practice to showcase best practices in education settings on FGM.

The Consultancy

The consultant will undertake comprehensive review of available literature on this subject matter focusing mainly on teachers and educational professionals and how they view and understand the practice of FGM. The consultant will also hold interviews or discussions with teachers. Where possible, the review should include case studies. The consultancy will commence in end of May or early June, 2022.

Outcomes

AkiDwA seeks the following deliverables from the consultant:

  1. A draft report to be delivered no later than Friday, 15th July 2022 to the CEO AkiDwA
  2. A final draft to be submitted and shared with the Board and CEO no later than Friday 30th of September 2022
  3. Consultant to share key survey findings during the launch of the booklet in a conference in early October 2022

TERMS & CONDITIONS

The review and survey will be confidential and the property of AkiDwA. It may not be circulated or published without explicit permission from AkiDwA.

Interested applicants should submit a letter of application together with Curriculum Vitae via email: info@akidwa.ie  closing date for receipt of applications is 5pm Friday 6th of May 2022.

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