|UNESCO is looking for a consultant to elaborate a thematic reflection paper on intangible cultural heritage (ICH) and gender (6000 to 7500 words). The text shall contain two parts: The first part shall explain and demonstrate the relationship between ICH and gender, while the second part shall discuss the possibilities of applying gender perspectives in safeguarding ICH. Both parts shall illustrate key points with concrete examples. It shall be addressed to a larger public and therefore be written in clear and simple language (either in English or French). The content shall be drawn from the author’s research and existing documents and reports. The text shall be ready by 1 August 2013 (tbc).|
Context and purpose
The role of gender in the practice, transmission and safeguarding of ICH has been an important topic of discussions at national and global levels. Two expert meetings on the theme were organized prior to the adoption of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and a third meeting just after: the International Symposium on the Role of Women in the Transmission of Intangible Cultural Heritage, Tehran 1999; the Expert meeting on Women, Intangible Heritage and Development, Tehran 2001; and the Expert meeting on Gender and Intangible Cultural Heritage, Paris 2003 (see the link for the reports of these meetings).
The expert meetings raised a number of pertinent issues concerning the significant, yet complex, relationship between ICH and gender (see key points below). Many of these issues are still relevant today, but deserve even more urgent attention than ever as everywhere around the world the implementation of the 2003 Convention is resulting in numerous safeguarding measures and plans that provide opportunities for dialogue on ICH and gender, notably at community level. UNESCO is therefore searching for ideas and experiences of how gender perspectives can be meaningfully applied in these processes of developing safeguarding plans, with full respect for the gender conceptions of the communities concerned and for cultural and other human rights.
UNESCO wishes to develop this content area of ICH and gender in the context of its global strategy for strengthening national capacities for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage as a starting point for further training materials on this subject.
- Yuki-tsumugi, silk fabric production technique
In light of the above, the consultant shall elaborate a thematic paper on both the relationship between ICH and gender and on the possibilities of applying gender perspectives in safeguarding. While the first part of the text shall focus on describing the relationships between gender and intangible cultural heritage, illustrating key points with examples and anecdotes, the second part shall be more practical, proposing possible ways of applying gender perspectives in safeguarding. It should keep in mind the principle of paying due respect to the gender conceptions of the communities concerned as well as to cultural and other human rights.
The paper shall be written in a simple and factual style to appeal to a large public, while specifically keeping in mind the various actors involved in developing ICH safeguarding plans (community members, governmental and non-governmental organizations, local municipalities, researchers, etc). It shall be written in either English or French. The author is expected to bring in his/her prior knowledge on the topic and draw from existing research and written or audio-visual resources.
- Noken multifunctional knotted or woven bag, handcraft of the people of Papua
Key points to be considered
The consultant shall take into account the key concepts and principles of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. He/she shall furthermore apply an anthropological approach to gender when analyzing the practice, transmission and safeguarding of ICH. The key questions could include the following:
- How do gender relations play out in the practice and transmission of ICH? More specifically, to what extent and in what ways do specific expressions of ICH depend on gender-specific practices and transmission?
- In how far do gender conceptions overlap or differ in various practices of intangible cultural heritage?
- How is the principle of gender equality reflected (or not) in specific practices of ICH?
- How does recognition and encouragement of female/male transmitters of ICH contribute to the empowerment of women/men?
- In what ways do gender considerations influence the ways communities adapt and recreate their intangible cultural heritage?
- How can gender perspectives be meaningfully applied in the processes of developing safeguarding plans with full respect for the gender conceptions of the communities concerned and for cultural and other human rights?
The applicant shall have the following qualifications:
- Academic background in areas related to ICH and/or gender
- Experience at country level of working on the relationship between ICH and gender
- Knowledge of UNESCO’s standard-setting instruments, notably the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage
- Excellent capacity to draft a paper that appeals to a larger public
- Excellent competence in written English or French as well as capacity to read, understand and communicate in the other language.
How to apply?
Interested candidates should send a proposal expressing their interest and motivation for carrying out this work. The following should be included:
- At least two examples of the author’s writing
- A copy of the CV
- An indication of expectations regarding the fees to carry out the consultancy, including an estimated number of working days and a provisional timeline
Please send your proposals to Ms Rita Mae Hyde, Capacity Building and Heritage Policy Unit of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Section (rm.hyde(at)unesco.org) with copy to Ms Susanne Schnüttgen, Chief of Unit (s.schnuttgen(at)unesco.org), by 1 June 2013.