Conducting A Situational Analysis on Women’s Political Participation in Eswatini

(National Consultant) 1 senior national expert  
Country of Assignment:Eswatini  


Women and Law in Southern Africa (in Eswatini and Zimbabwe)  together with other Regional NGOs working on women’s rights and gender equality in the African regions through the leadership of International IDEA is implementing a two year project titled ‘Enhancing the Inclusion of Women in Political Participation in Africa which is being implemented in Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania and Zimbabwe funded by Embassy of Sweden, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The overall objective of the project is ‘Increasing the political participation and representation of women in Africa in line with the Maputo Protocol of 2003, various associated sub-regional protocols and standards, and the SDGs’.

Project impact objectives are

  • To contribute to an increase in the voice and presence of women in political processes and institutions in Africa. 
  • To step up advocacy for and expand awareness towards increased demands for the inclusion of women at all levels of political participation and decision-making.
  • To build and strengthen enabling platforms that allow for women’s inclusion in all levels of political participation.

The Boundary partners for the project include:

  • Civil Society Organisations, including women’s organisations Political Parties
  • Public Interest Groups: The Media, Institutions that are custodians of customary and religious laws Election Management Bodies
  • Parliaments: National, sub-national and Regional
  • Gender /Women’s Ministries, Regional Economic Communities and the African Union
  • Policy Makers and Advisers 


Despite some of the historic and recent successes achieved on women participation in Africa, considerable attention is still required on account of numerous gaps and deficits that require to be filled in leadership positions. In the African region, women political participation has been in the core of gender equality initiatives for a while now since the adoption of the Maputo Protocol in 2003 which emulates the Convention on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), known as the Women’s Bill of Rights, International Convention on Population Development (ICPD) and the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development which contextualizes gender equality issues into the SADC sub region. Most recently, the Sustainable Development Goals 2020 has entrenched the commitments by countries at global level to have gender parity in political positions by 2030. Goal 5 calls for gender equality as a tool to achieving sustainable goals and in Goal 5.5 specifically call upon member states to ensure inclusion of women in all leadership positions. The goal recognises that ideas and opinion of women are critical in achieving sustainable development and that it is critical that they are included in government decisions.  

The Kingdom of Eswatini

The Kingdom of Eswatini has also made strides in the recognition and promotion of women participation through ratification of a number of international and regional human rights instruments on gender equlity. The country has also adopted a number of strategies aimed at facilitating the promotion and protection of the vulnerable and disadvantaged in society such as women and children. At international level Eswatini is a party to CEDAW which provides that States Parties shall take in all fields, in particular in the political, social, economic and cultural fields, all appropriate measures, including legislation, to ensure the full development and advancement of women, for the purpose of guaranteeing them the exercise and enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms on a basis of equality with men.

The Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995, noted the persisting inequality between men and women in positions of power and decision-making. The Beijing Platform for Action emphasized that “women’s equal participation in decision-making is not only a demand for justice or democracy, but can also be seen as a necessary condition for women’s interests to be taken into account. Without the perspective of women at all levels of decision-making, the goals of equality, development and peace cannot be achieved.

The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women’s Article 9 provides the right to equal participation of men and women in the political and decision-making process.

At SADC level, the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development addresses gender inequality in all spheres of life on issues that are affecting (in particular) women and children. The Protocol recognized the existing disparities in the area of leadership and therefore provided for SADC countries to put in place measures aimed at redressing the inequalities for purposes of achieving sustainable development. Of note, is that similarly to the Maputo Protocol, the SADC Protocol also calls for 50% representation of women and men in leadership positions.

The country’s Policy environment is cognizant of the importance of inclusion of women in leadership positions and entrenched such aspiration in the Constitution of the country. The Constitution provides that there will be 30% quarter representation at all levels of decision making. The 30% was guided by the SADC Declaration on Gender which was then elevated to the SADC Protocol and increased the gender equality quarter to 50% in 2008. Development of the Eswatini Gender and Development Index is also a best practice as it provides information that was not there on the flagship of women and men in leadership positions.

In preparation for the 2018 elections, the kingdom also enacted the Act on inclusion of women in Parliament which facilitated the election of the four women from the regions to try and increase the number of women to 30% in parliament.

Although the country has ratified key international instruments, however, domestication and implementation of the instruments is slow. For instance, on leadership positions the Constitution requires that there be law to ensure that the quarter of women representation is achieved at all levels. To date the country does not have an affirmative action that will facilitate women representation at every level of leadership. The Act on women representation is only focusing on the four regional women to be elected into parliament and not providing for inclusion of women at all levels which is a glaring gap.  The country therefore needs to enact an Affirmative Action Law that will guide inclusion of women at all levels of decision-making positions and also ensure that all structures have the 50/50 parity in the public sector, private and civil society.

Elections in Eswatini

Eswatini has had three consecutive elections after the Constitutive Act of 2005 and inspite of reinforced efforts to increase the number of women in political positions, however it has not been possible. Whilst the 2008 elections yielded a good results, however the 2013 and 2018 elections have continued to be a disappointment as the former only managed to filter in one woman members of parliament and the latter, only  two women went through elections which saw Eswatini continuing to fall short of the 30% constitutional The results of the 2018 elections despite concerted efforts from gender activities and women’s rights advocates sensitizing the public on the importance of inclusion of women in political positions.

The minority status of women perpetrate exclusion of women in that the perception of the larger part of society is such that leadership is a preserve for men and in some corners of society particularly traditional set up, women in leadership are still viewed with reservations. Gender norms and stereotypes therefore still pose a hindrance in the inclusion of women.

The Project is aimed at creating a conducive environment to build on the gains made and ensure an increase in the number of women in political decision making positions.

The “Enhancing the Inclusion of Women in Political Participation in Africa project” project is therefore aimed at addressing the above challenges through ‘Increasing the political participation and representation of women in Africa in line with the Maputo Protocol of 2003, various associated sub-regional protocols and standards, and the SDGs’. This will be done through a number of activities at national and regional level. Knowledge on the current situation on the inclusion of women in political leadership positions is critical as it will inform the rest of the activities including training, sensitisation of stakeholders and advocacy. It is for that reason that WLSA Eswatini is looking for a consultant to undertake a Situational Analysis on Women Political participation in Eswatini that will provide indepth knowledge and analysis on gender equality and women participation in Eswatini.

2. Objectives of the Action

The objectives of the exercise is as follows:

  • To define the nature and extent of women participation in Eswatini.
  • To have an understanding of challenges, barriers and entry point Map the perceptions and experiences of key stakeholders in relation to inclusion of women;
  • Identify existing strategies and activities which address the problem;
  • Identify the actors and organizations that are already active in the area;
  • Identify the actors and organizations that could be important partners; and
  • Identify gaps in existing strategies and activities

Scope of Work

The Women Participation Situational Analysis shall provide a status quo on the current situation in Eswatini. The Situational Analysis is aimed at knowledge development on barriers, challenges, opportunities and inroads that could be made in order to improve the inclusion of women in leadership position in the country. The consultant is expected to carry out consultations with stakeholders and review primary and secondary literature on women participation at national, regional and international level.

  1. Develop a project implementation activity plan detailing how he/she will carry out the assignment.
  2. Conduct Literature Review on Women political participation at national regional and international level.
  3. Develop data collection tools
  4. Conduct data collection with key informants, focus group discussions, indepths at national level.
  5. Undertake data processing and data analysis and produce a first drfat report
  6. Share the report with Women and Law for inputs
  7. Present Draft Report to stakeholders for validation and inputs.
  8. Finalise the report and submit to WLSA
  1. Timing and Work Plan

The assignment is expected to be carried out for a duration of 20 working days in the month of May – June 2020

  • Deliverables and Reporting Requirements
  • Inception Report
  • Draft Situational Analysis Report
  • Presentation to Stakeholders for validation
  • Final Situational Analysis Report
  • Management and Organisation

Under the overall supervision of the National Director, Women and Law Eswatini, the Consultant will report on his/ her activities to the, Research Associate, Women and Law Eswatini.

  • Competencies and Skills Requirements:  

The consultant should have the following competencies and skills:

  • Advanced University degree or equivalent experience in political sciences, international relations, development studies, law, social sciences.
  • Have at least 5 years of experience in academic research or policy analysis in the fields of gender, human rights and development ;
  • Have broad knowledge of AU entities, mandates, working methods and intergovernmental processes, especially as it relates to women, peace and security;
  • Have a good understanding of gender and women’s participation in Eswatini
  • Command thorough theoretical and practical knowledge of broader gender and women’s participation
  • Have demonstrated experience in writing high-quality documents, especially policy-relevant papers and articles, and
  • Have proven experience in analysing complex information from different sources and on various subjects.
  • Languages: Fluency in English (required) or French (desired).

Women and Law in Southern Africa now invites eligible Individual Consultants to indicate their interest in providing the Services.  Interested candidate must submitting a Technical and Financial Proposal providing information demonstrating that he/she has the required qualifications and relevant experience to perform the Services through email:  by 3rd of July 2020.

Project Title: Enhancing Women’s Political Participation in Eswatini

Women and Law in Southern Africa-Eswatini is implementing a project titled “Enhancing Women’s Political Participation in Eswatini” through funding from The United Nations Democracy Fund. The project will run for a period of 24 Months beginning on the 1 st of June 2020 to the 31 st May 2022. It will be implemented in the four regions of Eswatini (Hhohho, Lubombo, Manzini and Shiselweni) focusing on 59 constituencies covering one community per constituency. The approved budget for this project is set at $198,000.

The Project seeks to enhance the gender responsiveness of policies and practices in the electoral process in Eswatini by assisting stakeholders to develop gender responsive guidelines and educating citizens on the importance of women’s political participation, while empowering the female electorate with leadership skills, campaign and mobilization strategies. It is worth noting that the project will incorporate actions in response to the Covid-19 crisis, as it impacts women. Such implications include gender-based violence as well as social and economic pressure.

The objective of this project is to increase awareness of gender equity in Decision making among citizens in all four regions of Eswatini. This objective will be achieved through various and specific activities to be carried out by the WLSA office. Women and Law in Southern Africa-Eswatini extends its gratitude to The United Nations Democracy
for this opportunity as we seek to achieve gender equality and promote women’s participation in politics and decision-making positions in hopes to achieve an inclusive society that is constantly developing.


Women and the Law in Southern Africa (WLSA) with the support of funding from the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) is hosting a Paralegal Training on Gender Responsive / sensitive Electoral Processes in Eswatini. The training is running for 5 days started on 22 – 25 June 2020 and forms part of a series of activities to be spearhead by WLSA aimed at promoting women participation in decision making. The initiative is in accordance to Constitution of Eswatini which provides for gender equality in all spheres of life, economically, politically, socially and culturally.

Women participation in decision making is also the corner stone of the Sustainable Goals 2030, Goal 5 which calls countries to empower women and girls and ensure their full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life in order to realise sustainable development. Paralegals are based at community level and work with WLSA in conducting the community dialogues on legal and policy related issues that affect the advancements of rights of women in different areas.

As women form half of the population in the country, their voice and opinions are important when decisions are being made that will affect their families, children, homes, businesses, jobs and lives in general. It has been established through the research that WLSA and other partners have conducted that women are still a few in leadership positions in spite of the commitments that have been made through national laws such as the Constitution which commits 30% and the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development and African Union Protocol on Women’s Rights (Maputo Protocol) which clearly provides that there should be equal representation of men and women (50%) representation in all positions of decision making. Eswatini has made progress in some sectors but is still lagging behind in some sectors which means that a lot still needs to be done to ensure that women are included and decision making in churches, workplace, schools, boards responsible for taking critical decisions at community, regional and national level.

The paralegals are being trained in accordance to the COVID 19 rules and are also empowered on how to respond to COVID 19 effects in their communities in particular issues of involving women at all level even at community level.

Opportunity:Request for Expression of Interest/ Consultants


Women and Law in Southern Africa-Eswatini (WLSA) is a non-governmental organization (NGO) whose mandate in Eswatini, as in the region, is to contribute to the socio-economic, political, and legal advancement as well as protection of women and girls. The organization relies solely on donor funding. In ensuring Good Corporate Governance, there is a need to fulfill the requirement of the organizational policy in facilitating consistent annual external audits of the Financial Statements and Procedures.

WLSA wishes to engage an Audit firm to conduct an external financial audit for the period May 2019 to April 2020. It is anticipated that the audit shall be carried out in accordance with international audit standards issued by International Organisation Federation of Accountants (IFAC). 

Expression of Interest

Interested consultancies will be required to submit their technical proposals and prove of relevant experience in a sealed envelope hand delivered to WLSA offices Situated in Manzini, Mandlenkhosi building second floor before the 26th June 2020. Addressed to Selection Committee, P.O Box 508, Mbabane.       

For more information send email to:

Below is more information on the Terms Of Reference:

Objectives and scope of the audit

Audit the Financial statements and express an audit opinion. 

The audit should cover WLSA’s fiscal year (May 2019 to April 2020)

In particular, the audit will cover the following areas:

  1. Examine, assess and report on compliance with the terms and conditions of the grant agreements and applicable laws and regulations in Swaziland regarding accounting and taxes.
  2. Examine, assess if project funds have been used in accordance with the conditions of donor agreements, with due attention to economy and efficiency and only for the purposes for which the funds were provided.
  3. The auditor shall examine on a test basis that there is supporting documentation related to reported expenditure. The size of the test shall be based on the auditor’s risk analysis and that should be stated in the report. The auditor shall report the identified amount in case there is any missing supporting documentation.
  4. Examine, assess if bank funds have been used in accordance with the conditions of the agreement, with due attention to economy and efficiency and only for the purposes for which the funds were provided.
  5. In reporting, the auditor shall examine, assess and ensure that the organization’s reporting is based on actual expenses incurred for project activities only and is not done on allocation or apportionment basis.

The Reporting

Financial Report

When Accrual basis accounting method is used, the Financial Report shall include:

  1.  Income statement (or statement of comprehensive Income, or income and expenditure)

The income statement should show separately:

  1. Funds received during the period;
  2. Funds brought forward;
  3. Bank interest income;
  4. Other income;
  5. Exchange gains;
  6. Unspent funds;
  7. Expenses in detail.
  8. Balance sheet showing accumulated funds of the project, bank balances and other assets and liabilities of the project;
  9. Cash flow statement;
  10. Notes to the financial report describing the applicable accounting principles in place and detailed analysis of the Income statement and balance sheet.
  11. As an annex to the financial report mentioned above, the audit report should include:
  12. A comprehensive list of all fixed assets purchased during the year, with given date, values and conditions of the assets.
  13. The financial report shall include an appendix of Actual income and expenditure compared to budget and variances with brief comments.


When cash basis accounting method is used, the Fund Accountant ability Statement Report shall include:

  1.  Fund accountant ability statement Report (showing receipts, expenses and surplus /deficit for the period)

– The Fund accountability statement Report should show separately:

a) Funds received during the period;

b) Funds brought forward;

c) Bank interest income;

d) Other income;

e) Exchange gains;

f) Unspent funds;

g) Expenses in detail.

-The Fund accountability (income and expenditure) statement Report should also include fund balance represented by: (showing cash, bank, advances, receivables, payables etc.)

  •  Cash flow statement
  • Notes to the Fund accountability statement Report describing the applicable accounting principles in place and detailed analysis of the Fund accountability statement

As an annex to the Fund accountability statement Report mentioned above, the audit report should include:

  •  A comprehensive list of all fixed assets purchased during the year, with given date, values and conditions of the assets.
  • The financial statements shall include an appendix of Actual income and expenditure compared to budget and variances with brief comments.

The reporting shall contain details regarding used audit methodology and the scope of the audit.

The reporting shall contain an assurance that the audit was performed in accordance with international standards and by a qualified auditor.

The reporting shall contain the responsible auditor’s signature (not just the audit firm) and title.

The report shall only include financial information that has been audited by the auditors. (Under no circumstances shall the audit report include any page of unaudited financial information as part of the Audited financial report)

Management Letter Report

The auditor shall submit an audit memorandum/management letter, which shall contain the audit findings made during the audit process. It shall state which measures that have been taken as a result of previous audits and whether measures taken have been adequate to deal with reported shortcomings. The report shall include clear recommendations, prioritized in order of importance. It shall include a discussion on the chosen method and include the following headings:

– Observations

– Risk

Timeliness/ deliverables

The consultant will report directly to WLSA National Director

  • The financial Audit shall be completed within 20 working days
  • A report shall be submitted within the 20 days.

Thank you.

National Women’s Convention: Setting Women’s Agenda 2018

Women and Law through the “Breaking Barriers: Enhancing Swazi Women’s Participation and Representation in Decision Making” project which sought to create a platform for women’s political endeavours and roles in society and to equip them with knowledge and skills that enable them to participate actively in decision-making processes at all levels.


The overall objective of the project was to promote equal participation and representation of women and men at all levels of decision-making in Eswatini. The specific objective of the project is to strengthen the capacity and leadership skills of women to confidently claim their rights and effectively engage in decision making processes.

The project kick started with a Baseline study on women’s participation in leadership positions which looked at barriers and opportunities and also made recommendations on measures that could be undertaken for women participation in leadership positions. The findings of the study revealed the structural barriers that women face when encountering leadership positions, especially those political in their nature.

In a bid to implement the recommendations, WLSA hosted a National Women’s Convention, in which women from different sectors were tasked with coming up with a women’s agenda for the 11th Parliament.  The women’s convention brought together stakeholders from all four regions of Swaziland to have a constructive dialogue on effective women’s participation in decision making. The convention unpacked findings of the research on barriers to women’s participation in decision making as well as the Women’s Charter developed in 2015.

The convention was attended by 300 women representative of women in grassroots through the women’s regiment, women in informal sector, trade unions women’s wings, women legal practitioners, high school going girls as well as tertiary students and civil society representatives. These formed the following commissions:

  • Legal and Justice
  • Sexual Reproductive and Health
  • Youth
  • Socio Economic
  • Education


Women and Law in Southern Africa with the support of United States Embassy, Swaziland, commissioned a national baseline study “Breaking Barriers: Enhancing Swazi Women’s Participation and Representation in Decision Making” in January 2018, a national study which sampled the Shiselweni region. The objective of the study was to look at the barriers, opportunities and make recommendations on women representation and participation in decision making positions.

The study used qualitative methods approach in the execution of the assignment. The assignment reviewed literature available in this area in preparation for tool development based on the existing body of knowledge both in the Swaziland and in the region.

Stakeholder consultations and validation processes were conducted through the following data collection approaches:

  • Literature Review
  • Key Informant Interview (KII) Tools
  • In Depth interviews
  • Focus Group Discussions.