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Job Description


To define Better Cotton Initiative's approach to improving gender equality in cotton-producing regions.

(For one consultant based in Lahore, Pakistan with national and international field visits)


The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) — the largest cotton sustainability programme in the world — aims to reach 5 million farmers worldwide with more sustainable agricultural practices, and account for 30% of global cotton production by 2020. In less than 10 years, the Better Cotton Initiative and its Partners have supported over 1.6 million farmers in 23 countries in adopting more sustainable agricultural practices. Thanks to these efforts, Better Cotton accounts for around 15% of global cotton production. BCI is truly a joint effort, encompassing stakeholders all the way from farms to fashion brands and civil society organisations, driving the cotton sector toward sustainability. BCI aims to transform cotton production worldwide by developing Better Cotton as a sustainable mainstream commodity.

Scope and Focus

In line with SDG 5 on Gender Equality, BCI seeks to address gender inequality in cotton farming. According to the Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, “Gender inequality persists worldwide, depriving women and girls of their basic rights and opportunities. Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls will require more vigorous efforts, including legal frameworks, to counter deeply rooted gender-based discrimination that often results from patriarchal attitudes and related social norms.”

Women play an important role in the cultivation of cotton, yet serious structural gender biases exist in the sector. Key challenges include: occupational segregation, women’s unequal access to property title and finance, wage discrimination, women’s reproductive health risks, and a lack of voice within household structures, field work, and producer organisations.

BCI is committed to improving gender equality and female empowerment in cotton-producing areas by working to address the challenges. The Standard’s Production Principles and Criteria require that producers – in diverse contexts from smallholder to large mechanised farms:

»         Ensure that no chemical pesticides are applied by women who are nursing or pregnant. The Standard also states that as a woman may not be aware that she is pregnant in the early stages of her pregnancy, the ideal situation is that women of child-bearing age do not apply pesticides at all.


»         Respect of the decent work principle, which promotes work that provides opportunities for women and men to work productively in conditions of freedom, equity, security, and human dignity. BCI focuses on labour rights, expressed in international labour standards and in national labour legislation. This includes no wage discrimination.


»         Prevent child labour, in accordance with ILO Convention 138. BCI promotes partnerships between Better Cotton producer groups and expert organisations that can advise and support the protection of children’s rights. Ensuring both girls and boys access and stay in school is integral to improving the situation of cotton-producing communities.

Harmful gender dynamics extend beyond the farm, both inward to the household and outward to the community. The existing approaches BCI and its partners use to address gender inequality are mostly limited to the farm level. Through new partnerships and other innovations, more could be done to address the larger environment in which these challenges occur. There is a need, however, to build awareness of the issues within BCI staff and among its numerous implementing partners, and to foster buy in to invest in enhanced activities in support of gender equality.


The overall objective of this project is to define BCI’s strategic approach to improving gender equality in cotton-producing regions.  


The assignment will be carried out by a team of two consultants based in BCI Delhi and Lahore offices.


At the end of the project, the consultants will have delivered:

1.    A gender analysis report (based on desk research and field visits to 2-3 countries; countries to be determined in coordination with BCI HQ and country teams)

2.    A global BCI gender equality strategy with an implementation plan

3.    A series of gender modules with accompanying guidance document (a draft introductory module already exists)

4.    Gender sensitive performance indicators to be included in BCI’s M&E system

Overall tasks and functions

This is a global project based in the designated BCI country office. The consultant will work as a team with the other consultant based in India and under the guidance and direct supervision of BCI Global Program Coordinator, and in collaboration with the BCI programme team and her/his respective country manager.

The consultant shall perform the following tasks:

·         Carry out a literature review of women’s roles in cotton production (3-5 pages)

·         Work closely with BCI Implementing Partners with expertise in gender programming

·         Conduct field visits to confirm research on women’s role and clarify gender equality issues

·         Conduct a gender analysis and develop report and methodology for the strategy and action plan outlining priority areas for action (by BCI HQ and/or BCI Implementing Partners)

·         Present the report to project supervisor for comments and feedback

·         Develop draft strategy and present for review and discussion

·         Incorporate comments from planning exercise and finalise the document (1.5-day presentation of analysis and development of global strategy with team. BCI to participate in planning so there is ownership)

·         Review the Better Cotton Principles and Criteria and M&E system. Propose improvements.


The following methodology is proposed to ensure the success of the assignment:

The consultant will have a joint briefing/ inception meeting with the project supervisor and relevant BCI staff. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss and clarify expectations on the expected outcome and deliverables of the assignment.

·         The consultant will prepare a work plan at the beginning of the assignment, with clear timelines and milestones.

·         Literature review, field visits, and conversations with BCI staff, Implementing Partners, and relevant BCI members and stakeholders.

·         The consultant will regularly, ideally bi-weekly, brief the project supervisor on the development of the project, including progress and challenges.

·         At the end of the assignment, there will be a debriefing meeting with the project supervisor to discuss the outcome of the assignment and the way forward. 

The position is based in BCI’s Lahore office and the consultant will be expected to travel to 1-2 country programs outside of duty station.

Required qualifications


Advanced University Degree (minimum Master’s Degree in gender studies, development studies, political science or other related field).


·         Seven years of relevant experience in gender equality, gender mainstreaming, or women empowerment policies/projects/programmes; knowledge of gender equality.

·         Experience in development of gender training manuals.

·         Demonstrated experience in planning, design, preparation, and delivery of gender equality strategies for development organisations.

·         Knowledge and/or experience with smallholder agriculture; knowledge of cash crop production or global commodity supply chains.

·         Experience with voluntary sustainability standards a plus.


·         Excellent proven written and spoken English

·         Punjabi/Urdu/French/Portuguese language skills

·         Strong oral and written communication English skills


·         2-3 field visits are envisioned. The length and locations will be determined based on available budget, identified priority areas, and capacity to support the visit by BCI country teams.

Duration and remuneration

The duration of the assignment will be for 6 months on a monthly consulting fee (rate for experienced national consultant)


Interested applicants with the required attributes are asked to send a detailed CV (3 pages maximum) and a motivational letter (2 pages maximum) , in English with subject: “Application Gender Consultant - Pakistan”.

Please make sure that your motival letter is as part of your CV file.


We thank all applicants for their interest; however only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

BCI is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to good practice and transparency in the management of natural, human and financial resources.



Job Details

Total Positions:
1 Post
Job Shift:
First Shift (Day)
Job Type:
Job Location:
New Garden Town, Lahore, Pakistan
No Preference
Minimum Education:
Master (16 Years)
Degree Title:
Master’s Degree in gender studies, development studies, political science or other related field
Career Level:
Experienced Professional
7 Years - 7 Years (Relevant experience in gender equality, gender mainstreaming or women empowerment policies.Experience in development of gender training manuals.Experience with small holder agriculture. Voluntary sustainability standards a plus.)
Apply Before:
Jun 20, 2018
Posting Date:
Jun 06, 2018
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