Terms of Reference: Research Assignment, Women’s Labour Rights in Serbia

2018-05-17 14:43

1.     Background

The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation supports women during times of war and conflict to increase women’s power and influence. Today we cooperate with more than 130 women’s organisations in the Western Balkan, the South Caucasus, the Middle East and two countries in Africa. Kvinna till Kvinna was founded at the beginning of the 1990’s as a direct result of the atrocities of the war in the Balkans. The organisation has a focus on women, peace and security and collaborate with women’s organisations that play an active part in peace and transition processes as well as promoting women’s rights and gender equality.

The mandate of Kvinna till Kvinna is to:

  • Empower women in war and conflict-affected regions by enhancing their self-esteem, their mental and physical well-being and their participation in the creation of a democratic society.
  • Promote studies and research concerning the effects of war and armed conflict on women.
  • Provide information about the effects of war and to raise public opinion in favour of peaceful conflict resolution using non-military methods.

Kvinna till Kvinna shall operate without attaching importance to religious, political, national or ethnic affiliation. These requirements also apply to Kvinna till Kvinna’s partner organisations.

Kvinna till Kvinna regional programme, Furthering Women’s Labour Rights

As part of a new European Union (EU) funded Regional Programme (2018-2022), Kvinna till Kvinna is currently one of six implementing partners, civil society organisations (CSOs), on a project focusing on women’s labour rights: Furthering Women’s Labour Rights in the Western Balkan region. The project is lead by Kosova Women’s Network, a CSO in Prishtina that promotes the rights of women and girls throughout Kosova. The purpose of the project is to contribute to processes of creating systemic changes in the region when it comes to improving hiring practices and mitigating discrimination pertaining to women’s labour.

The partner organisations, as a coalition of leading women’s rights CSOs from the region, suggest that the implementation of anti-discrimination legislation remains weak throughout the region. Very few discrimination cases seem to be reported or addressed by courts. As a result, there is little existing or accessible case law related to discrimination. Based on our experience, a key reason for the absence of cases reported is minimal knowledge among relevant institutions regarding anti-discrimination legislation, its meaning and implementation. This includes key stakeholders (several of which are affiliated entities) that could otherwise support awareness-raising and use of antidiscrimination legislation, such as National Gender Equality Mechanisms (NGEMs), social partners (e.g., trade unions), labour inspectorates, state-run legal aid services, and CSOs. This project seeks to target and benefit men and women, towards transforming traditional social norms regarding “appropriate” roles for women and men respectively, in the labour market. Transforming such norms is important for addressing the cultural context that allows for gender-based discrimination to occur in hiring and promotion, among other areas. This includes also addressing intersections between gender and other vulnerabilities (e.g., age, sexuality, ethnicity, ability). Persons suffering discrimination, particularly women at work but also persons with disabilities, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans*, Queer/Questioning, Intersex (LGBTQI) persons, minority ethnic groups, and others, will be final beneficiaries in that they will be more aware of their rights and have better procedures for reporting discrimination when it occurs.

To be able to hold institutions accountable, to implement strategic litigation and advocate for anti-discrimination legislation to be implemented; research is necessary. The purpose of the research is to assess the situation more thoroughly (creating a baseline) and will be conducted related to discrimination, focusing particularly on gender-based discrimination affecting women’s labour rights in Serbia. The baseline will investigate the extent to which discrimination claims are being filed and gather additional information on how institutions are treating such cases. A country report will be developed for Serbia and combined into a larger, regional report with the five other partner countries.

2.    Expected outcome of the assignment

The consultant/s shall assist the implementation of the regional programme by:

i.         Reviewing and comparing existing literature, legislation, laws, policies and conventions, to create a legal analysis and examine/assess current anti-discrimination legislation in place, including shortcomings in aligning national legislation with the EU Gender Acquis Communautaire, specifically the “Gender Equality Acquis”.

ii.         Reviewing existing contemporary literature and data (to create a connotated bibliography to ground the Serbia report) regarding women’s labour in Serbia, including but not limited to discrimination in the workplace, discrimination in hiring practices and barriers in reporting gender-based discrimination in the workplace.

iii.         By way of official requests for data for the time-period of 2007-2017, collecting existing data related to discrimination cases with courts, Ombudspersons’ offices, labour inspectorates and other relevant institutions.

iv.         Assisting to spread an anonymous national online survey on discrimination knowledge and incidents, that will be part of the regional report. Analysing qualitative data collected from this method.

v.         Conducting targeted qualitative interviews throughout the country with individuals part of minority groups underrepresented in the survey.

vi.         Conducting qualitative interviews with CSOs throughout the country representing the interests of potentially marginalized groups, including community members self-identified as having different abilities, LGBTQI or ethnic minority communities,

vii.         Conducting qualitative interviews with project stakeholders throughout the country to determine their knowledge, attitudes, and experiences in treating discrimination cases to date.

viii.         Conducting qualitative interviews with employers/businesses and workers throughout country (10 large-scale employers, 10 mid-range employers, 10 small-scale employers).

The research will be used in advocacy towards national/federal governments and delegations as well as relevant EU institutions in furthering women’s labour rights, as well as establishing how to proceed with court monitoring within the project. The country analysis will be combined with other analyses conducted by partner organisations for a regional report.

3.    Deliverables:

Research will be presented in English in a country report on findings in Serbia. Included with the research is a separate legal analysis, as outlined in section 2i.

The consultant/s should collect all qualitative data (as outlined in section 2 above) and analyse it using a coding method. The country analysis report should include:

  • Detailed Research Work Plan as well as Research Instruments, to be submitted by the end of month 1 and to include a description of methods that will be used, guidelines, lists of target individuals/organisations/institutions for interviews.
  • A separate legal analysis to be submitted by the end of month 1.
  • All coded data collected through qualitative interviews, presented in a separate document and in a clear, understandable, and accessible way.
  • Separate document(s) of all data/information collected from reviewing existing resources, and organised in accessible report of findings from 2007-2017, in the form of literature reviews or annotated bibliographies, where necessary.

The country analysis should be presented as a report, including summary, citations, and a reference list.

4.    Methodology

The focus of the country analysis is gender-based discrimination (as defined by Serbian law) that is related to labour rights.

The guiding research questions and sub-questions for this project are:

  • For what reasons have few discrimination cases been reported and/or filed?
    a)    What are gender-based discrimination cases?
    b)    How widespread is it?
    c)     How aware are people about discrimination?
    d)    Is discrimination more widespread among certain (vulnerable) groups?
    e)     To what extend is the legal framework complete? Where are the gaps?
  • How have relevant institutions treated discrimination cases to date?
    a)    Which are the relevant institutions?
    b)    What are their roles and responsibilities?
    c)     What are their knowledge and capacities about the issue?
    d)    What data exists?
    e)     What are the relevant institutions are there? What are they required to do by law?

The assignment includes travel throughout Serbia.

More details on methodology will be presented in a meeting/training session (via Skype or in person) with a staff member of the project lead organisation Kosova Women’s Network. Detailed planning and priorities of the assignment will be discussed with Kvinna till Kvinna.

5.    Time frame and reporting

The duration of the assignment is estimated to 151 working days (7 working months) in total according to the following timeline:

  • Deliverables:o   Research Work Plan & Research Instruments: June 11 2018o   Legal analysis: June 11 2018o   Country analysis draft: December 7 2018o   Final version: After receiving comments from Kvinna till Kvinna

6.    Contact person at Kvinna till Kvinna

The consultant/s will report directly to the Project Coordinator, Sofija Vrbaški, sofija.vrbaski@kvinnatillkvinna.se.

7.    Required skills and qualifications

The consultant/consultancy team should have:

  • Extensive knowledge about Serbian national gender equality mechanisms,
  • Thorough knowledge about gender analysis, gender equality and women’s rights, and solid feminist analytical/critical thinking skills,
  • Knowledge about discrimination and labour law is considered an asset,
  • Experience in collecting qualitative data through interview methods and analysing raw data,
  • Knowledge about the Western Balkan countries’ EU accession processes, and about women’s right in these processes is considered an asset,
  • Excellent writing skills in English.

8.    Cost Frame

Consultant fees shall be specified as fees per day including taxes, social security contributions and VAT. The tender shall state total value of tender, including expenses such as travel, per diems, telephone, internet, postage and any other expenses related to the assignment.

Please note that the maximum total value of the tender cannot exceed 5 000 EUR.

Contracted consultant cannot further subcontract the assignment. In cases where the tender includes a team of consultants, their division of labour shall be presented.

9.    Deadline for submission of tender

Tender must be submitted to Kvinna till Kvinna with an accompanying CV and letter of intent no later than May 30th (GMT), 2018.

Kvinna till Kvinna intends to sign a contract no later than June 4th, 2018.

Tenders should be sent by e-mail to: sofija.vrbaski@kvinnatillkvinna.se

10. Contact

For any questions, please contact Sofija Vrbaški, Project Coordinator, sofija.vrbaski@kvinnatillkvinna.se