Terms of Reference Development of a policy brief on enhancing women’s representation in the Somali judiciary and in the legal profession


Somalia faces serious challenges in ensuring access to justice for its citizens. Women, in particular, face far more challenges including the lack of women charges and a limited number of women prosecutors and lawyers. The adjudication of women cases such as SGBV issues take a long time to resolve. The adjudication of women issues by male judges could also be posing a challenge for aggrieved women.

The formal justice system has clear laws which, in view of individual women’s rights, is more favourable for women. However, the implementation is inconsistent and sometimes lack enforcement. Therefore, improvements to the formal judiciary system could be made through the inclusion of women’s perspectives. This study tries to understand how to represent women better in the judiciary.

Purpose and objective of the consultancy

The objective of the consultancy is to better understand how to promote women’s representation on the bench in order to bring women’s views into judicial processes.

The output of the consultancy will be a policy brief.

Specific objectives

The specific objectives of the consultancy are to (i) map out the current status quo; (ii) set out the significance of women judges for Somalia, particularly as it relates to the adjudication of SGBV matters; (ii) bring regional and international best practices and experiences on this subject to the fore; and (iii) conclude with findings and concrete policy recommendations for policymakers.

Key research questions

  1. Map out the women lawyers and prosecutors, understanding their socio-political backgrounds and how they got to their current positions?
  2. What role do women lawyers and prosecutors play in representing women’s perspectives?
  3. What are the obstacles that may hinder women from joining and progressing professionally in the Somali judicial system?
  4. What measures can be taken to enhance the representation of women in the Somali judicial system?
  5. How would having women judges improve the representation of women in the judiciary and the adjudication of women issues in court? How feasible is having women judges in the Somalia context?

Proposed Methodology

The consultant will be expected to utilize various methods in collecting the required information to answer the research questions. The consultant will propose the methodology and the approach to the study in the research protocol which will be discussed and agreed upon with SWDC and EAJ.

However, at a minimum, it is proposed that the consultant will conduct a literature review to understand international best practices pertaining to the subject. A review of secondary data from similar studies in Somalia, if in existence, will also be conducted to understand the current trends in the country. The consultant is also expected to conduct focus group discussions, key informants and in-depth interviews with women lawyers, prosecutors, and other stakeholders in the justice chain.

The consultant is required, as much as possible, to ensure that the assessment is conducted in a participatory manner. The key informants and participants in the group discussions should be drawn from various backgrounds, paying attention to diversities such as age, disabilities, and clan, among others. The collected data must be collated, analyzed, and interpreted in a logical and systematic manner.


  1. Develop a research protocol, detailing the key research questions, data collection tools to answer the research questions, and the key resource persons.
  2. Participate in briefings and consultative meetings on the assignment at the SWDC Mogadishu office.
  3. As part of the research protocol, provide detailed and comprehensive research tools to be used in capturing the information required. The tools should be discussed and agreed upon at the project level before utilization and thereafter be annexed to the survey report.
  4. Debrief session and power-point presentation for SWDC after the data is analyzed and a draft report prepared.
  5. Prepare and submit a full report on the study, including significant results and policy recommendations for increasing women’s meaningful engagement in the legal system.
  6. Soft copy of the database of the primary data analyzed and used in the report.


The consultant will be engaged for 25 working days between May 10th and June 13th, 2022. The activity plan proposed below will be reviewed and agreed upon by the consultant, and SWDC.

NO.ActivityDuration (Days)Responsibility/Remarks
1Briefing by SWDC team1SWDC team and consultant
2Review of secondary data2Consultant
3Produce research protocol2Consultant
4Development of the data collection tools2Consultant
5Pre-test and finalization of tools1Consultant
6Data collection5Consultant and data collectors
7Data analysis3Consultant
8Preparation of the draft report4Consultant
9Debrief session and presentation of the draft report1Consultant
10Review of the proposal by SWDC and EAJ2SWDC and EAJ teams
11Finalization of the report and submission to SWDC3Consultant

Preferred Qualifications

  •  A minimum of 5 years experience in carrying out qualitative studies.
  • At least a basic university degree is required. An advanced university degree is an added advantage.
  • Extensive knowledge and experience in qualitative research methodologies and techniques.
  • Familiarity with the local justice and judicial context, particularly the participation of women in the judicial system and the adjudication of the SGBV cases is a requirement.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the local Somalia context, particularly the judicial system is an important asset.
  • Fluency in English and the Somali languages is required.
  • Experience in writing professional reports

Terms and Conditions of service

SWDC, with funding from the EAJ Program, will provide such necessary resources required for the successful execution of the assignment. This may include the provision of the necessary project documents, suggesting a list of important persons to be interviewed, facilitation, and setting appointments with the interviewees if necessary.

The consultant will cover his/her transportation, accommodation, communication, and any other costs directly related to the assignment.

The consultant shall be responsible for his/her taxes and/or security implication as a result of the consultant being engaged in this piece of work.

Mode of application Applications with copies of CVs, testimonials, a one-page cover letter, technical proposal (max 3 pages), and financial proposal (max 1 page) should be submitted via email to swdc.org@gmail.com and copying abdullahi@swdcsom.org/ aidarus@swdcsom.org before May 11th, 2022.