INFORMATION PACK FOR CANDIDATES. Foundation for Women s Health Research and Development (FORWARD)

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1 INFORMATION PACK FOR CANDIDATES Foundation for Women s Health Research and Development (FORWARD) AUGUST

2 2

3 1. Introduction The Foundation for Women s Health Research and Development (FORWARD) is a dynamic go-to African diaspora women s organisation committed to safeguarding the dignity, health and human rights of African women and girls. We respond to gender based discriminatory practices, in particular, female genital mutilation (FGM), child marriage and related health concerns. FORWARD is a UK registered charity which was established in 1985 under the Charity Commission with registration number FORWARD is also registered under UK Company House as a company with limited liability with company number Over the past 30 years FORWARD has been at the cutting edge of FGM work in the UK, influencing policy, practice and programmes nationally and, for many years, was unique in its efforts to end FGM in the UK. FORWARD was set up in response to the lack of action on FGM. A recommendation from research on voluntary organisations working on FGM commissioned by a UK foundation confirms that; FORWARD is a strategic, highly regarded, leading organisation in the FGM field Mission and values FORWARD s vision is of a world where women and girls live in dignity, are healthy, have choices and equal opportunities and have a mission to safeguard dignity, advance health and human rights for African girls and women globally. Our mission is to shift understanding, practice and action through public education and capacity development of key actors. We directly influence and shape policy through advocacy action, research and information and help transform practices by influencing behaviour and attitudinal change. We also create opportunities for skills and leadership development and empowerment of women and girls at local level. FORWARD has strong links with the diaspora in the UK and with partners in Africa. This gives our work in this sensitive private/political area both grounding, legitimacy and credibility. FORWARD s core values: Protection of women and girls rights and dignity are non-negotiable People s voices, needs and experiences should inform all our work Participation of girls, boys, women, men and community leaders promotes equity and ownership Provision of space and specialist services for girls and women should be central to programmes Partnerships and alliance building with civil society and community organisations, donor agencies and governments creates synergy and accelerates change 3. Strategic goals FORWARD has four strategic goals in our Strategic plan and these are underpinned by our annual operational and programme plans. They include: Prevent gender based violence, in particular female genital mutilation, child marriage and related rights violations such as obstetric fistula 1 (Women s Resource Centre: An assessment of voluntary and community sector activities tackling female genital mutilation in the UK, 2009) 3

4 Increase access to specialist and support services; rights education and livelihood opportunities for vulnerable girls and women Improve capacity and sustainability of partners Strengthen networking and policy engagement of African diaspora women 4. Our approach to making change happen FORWARD has a philosophy for making change happen which is based on a process of engaging multiple stakeholders and individuals through collective action, personal empowerment and agency to safeguard rights and dignity. This is based on the following core elements: Improving knowledge through information, education, training and shaping ideas; Mass movement of individuals we work with to mobilise and ensure participation; alliance building and partnerships at all levels of operation Attitude and behaviour change by transforming attitudes to harmful practices such as FGM/ child marriage and sexual and reproductive health Strengthening legislation through advocacy; shaping and informing policy development and access to services and resources Empowerment of women and girls with leadership skills, voice and agency to exercise their rights and sustain behaviour and access to assets and options. 5. The work of FORWARD FORWARD is the lead agency in the UK working to end FGM through campaign and advocacy action, and providing support to women and girls affected and at risk of the practice. We operate nationally through partnership action with statutory agencies; civil society organisations and communities affected. FORWARD has six programme areas A. Africa Programme - this programme works through partner organisations in five countries in East and West Africa to tackle child marriage, FGM and obstetric fistula with a special focus on girls and young women at risk and living in marginalised communities. The core areas include young women & girls leadership and skills building programmes, community mobilisation and campaigns, participatory research and advocacy action. B. Community development and engagement - this programme works with women and girls affected by or at risk of FGM and other community stakeholders including men and opinion and community leaders at the local level to provide a platform for consultation; skills building, sharing and outreach support. This includes the women s health and leadership training programme and outreach support which is run by health advocates; monthly coffee morning sessions in the London office offering advice, support and befriending for women affected by FGM and community campaign action. C. Campaign and advocacy programme this programme aims to generate evidence to inform and shape policy and practice in the UK and at European level through strategic partnerships and campaign action. This includes the Women s Health and Equality Consortium, the End Violence Against Women Consortium and End FGM European Network. 4

5 D. Young people Speak Out Programme this programme is a national youth to youth initiative using creative arts; education; advocacy and campaign action to enable young people to become change agents to their peers and their community. The programme includes schools training; peer mentoring and empowerment and youth campaign and advocacy action and development of youth friendly resources. E. Schools Programme this programme focuses on awareness raising and the role that everyone can play in supporting girls and ending the practice. Through tailored and sensitive school sessions pupils are equipped to be able to support themselves, their peers and their siblings who may be at risk of or affected by FGM. F. Training and public education this programme provides accredited training to statutory professionals and stakeholders to equip them with information, skills and knowledge to enable key professionals to respond effectively to women and girls at risk of, as well as those affected by, FGM. The public education and awareness action includes speaking events and information dissemination through the website and social media. 6. The job application process Candidates are required to complete FORWARD s job application form. This form will be the primary source of information for the short listing of candidates for interview. Please do not submit a CV or additional information unless this is expressly stated. It is also recommended that you read the information provided in the Job Description to help you complete your application process. Please ensure that your application is completed electronically through word processing; handwritten applications are not encouraged since many copies of the document will have to made for the assessors and for the interview panel. FORWARD is unable to accept faxed copies of the job application. The application form is available electronically from the FORWARD website: or contact FORWARD by Eligibility to work in the UK You will be required to confirm to us that you are entitled to work in the UK. FORWARD has a legal obligation to ensure that all our employees are eligible to work in the UK. We will therefore require you to show proof of eligibility to work as part of the recruitment process if you are successful. Selection process The completed job application form will be assessed by the interview panel to obtain a short list of candidates. If you are successful, you will normally hear from FORWARD within two weeks of the closing date stipulated in the job advert. Unfortunately, due to the high volume of applicants in past job applications and to funding challenges, we are only able to contact short listed candidates. If you do not hear from FORWARD within three weeks of the closing date please consider that you have not been short listed. 5

6 Short listed candidates will be contacted by detailing the interview time and date, this will normally be within a week. This information will be included in the job advert so please note the interview dates for future reference. 6

7 6. Terms and conditions of employment Successful applicants will be given a letter of appointment and a contract of employment detailing some of these terms stated below. Annual leave The annual leave year runs from 1 April to 31 March. All full time staff are entitled to 25 days annual leave. Part time staff will receive the same holiday entitlements on a pro rata basis. New employees are entitled to annual leave calculated pro-rata on the number of completed months service. This is exclusive of bank holidays. Hours of work The normal working hours are 35 hours a week for full time staff and a full time working day is 8 hours from 9.30 to 5.30 including an unpaid hour for lunch break. Induction and ongoing staff development All new employees will be given an induction to enable them integrate into the role and understand the organisation. An induction plan for all new staff is developed when a job offer has been accepted and the confirmation of appointment has been made. This will often be conducted over a two week period. All staff will be supported in achieving their full potential and career development through the annual performance appraisal process and regular individual supervision with your line manager. FORWARD is committed to ensuring that staff have core skills and competencies to fulfil their role and will be offered the opportunity to attend on-going training, as well as internal and external courses where necessary. Probationary period Confirmation of appointments of all new employees will be subject to satisfactory completion of a probation period. This will normally be for three months. During the probationary period of employment you will be expected to establish your suitability for the post. During this period you will be provided with an induction, training and support to assist you in fulfilling your potential. In certain circumstances this period may be extended. However, during your probationary period your employment maybe terminated at any time in writing by either party. Salaries All salaries are inclusive of London Weighting. Salaries are paid directly into your bank account on the 28 th of each calendar month (or the working day before the 28 th if the day falls on a weekend or bank holiday). Sick leave All staff are entitled to contractual sick pay, eligibility requires compliance with FORWARD s sickness notification. Non-smoking offices Smoking is not allowed in any part of the building. 7

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