The Nigeria Constitution sets the age of marriage at 18 years. However, getting married formally or informally before the legal age known as child marriage is a common practice across the country.
Arranged marriages for adolescent girls without their consent are also common in Nigeria especially in the rural areas of Northern region. Although Nigerian Government has tried to stop child marriage with the enactment and adoption by states the Child Rights Act of 2003, the practice of child marriage is still prevalent in some regions.
Age at first marriage varies by residence, educational level, wealth quintile and across the different regions of the country. Women aged 25-49 living in urban areas marry about four years later than rural women (20.8 years compared with 16.7 years) and the median age at first marriage is higher among the better educated and the wealthier. The median age at first marriage for women living in northern Nigeria are lower (15.3) as compared to western and south eastern region (21.7 and 22.7 respectively). Among the states, the median age at marriage is as low as 14.4 years in Zamfara (NDHS, 2013).
Job Title: National Strategy Development Consultant for Ending Child Marriage
The requirement for free and informed consent of both parties to a marriage is recognized in numerous legal instruments at international, national and local levels. International human rights standards classify marriages before the age of 18 as child marriages, reasoning that those under age 18 are unable to give informed consent. Child marriage is a serious human rights violation. Although few countries have specifically criminalized the practice still the issue of child marriage still exist. Despite the legal protections being put in place, the dual existence of customary practices and civil law are hindering the process to success to ending child marriage.
In context of the above, the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development (FMWASD) in collaboration with Save the Children International (SCI) is recruiting a Consultant to formulate a national strategy for curbing Child marriage which will support sustainability of interventions to end child marriage in Nigeria.
Duties and Responsibilities of the Consultant:**
The consultant will develop a national strategy which upon adoption would be implemented to end child marriage for prosperity, social economic transformation, strengthen child protection mechanism and enforcement of relevant legislation and influence changes in dominant thinking in regard to social and cultural norms that cause, drive and perpetuate the practice of child marriage in Nigeria.
The consultant will also be responsible for:
- Conducting a Desk Review of Government policy and legal documents as well as Government Ministries, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), INGOs and UN Agencies and other Development Partners program documents about child marriage
- Conducting national and regional stakeholders’ consultative meetings to solicit and discuss their input in the preparation of the National Strategy
- Conducting interviews and Focal Group Discussions (FGDs) with relevant stakeholders
- Drafting of a national strategy on child marriage to reflect the goals, objectives, strategic areas of focus and target groups
- Submission of a draft strategy for review and feedback
- Facilitate a review meeting to validate the draft strategy and finalize it
- A clear work plan with precise actions, timeline and specific tools and techniques in line with the scope of work and specific tasks;
- Reports on the basis of series of workshops/interaction with Federal, State and local stakeholders;
- Final copy of the national strategy
- Action plan for the implementation of the newly formulated strategy.
The consultant will develop a detail methodology to collect information which will be incorporated into national strategy document. Information gathering will include key stakeholders workshop consultations targeting children, traditional and religious leaders, Government and Development Partners.
Principles to guide the strategy:**
• Empathy, Gender equality and social inclusion;
• Participation of beneficiaries;
• Transparency, accountability and good governance;
• Responsible exiting including Do-no Harm.
• Use of reports in desk/literature review
• Context specific solutions (Northern Nigeria and its peculiarities)
- Analytic skills and proven ability to write reports, briefs and concept notes and develop strategies and action plans
- Proven ability to engage with Nigerian government ministries
- Ability to multi task, work on many concepts at once, and work in a team.
- Ability to work with children
Required Skills and Experience
- A post-graduate degree in Islamic Studies, Social Science, Sociology/Anthropology, Education, Economics, Gender and Development, Business Management, Media or any other related fields.
- Minimum 10 years’ proven experience and demonstrated knowledge on development issues and strategy development
- Experience working with the Government, Civil society organizations, Community, and Children on human rights and also conducting research
- Experiences in developing strategies;
- Experiences working with Northern Nigerian local governance system and procedure;
- Excellent written English and verbal skills with strong evaluation report writing and documentation skills;
- Excellent communication skills and intercultural sensitivity;
- Good knowledge of computer applications especially Microsoft Office applications such as word and excel together with a good presentation skills.
- In-depth Knowledge of cultural and political context of Nigeria
Timeline: 30 days
Interested candidates should submit copies of curriculum vitae and Proposal as a word attachment and samples of previous related work done.