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Saturday, July 11, 2015

Knowledge Building Programme Officer, Musawah Secretariat in Morocco

Deadline: 31 July 2015
Location: Rabat, Morocco
Organization: Musawah

Musawah is a global movement for equality and justice in the Muslim family that advances human rights for women in Muslim contexts in both their public and private lives.

We act to grow the movement, build knowledge and advocate for change in discriminatory laws and practices. We use a framework grounded in Islamic teachings, human rights, constitutional guarantees and the lived realities of women and men. Musawah was launched in February 2009 at a Global Meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, that was attended by over 250 women and men from some 50 countries of Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North America and the Pacific.

Musawah is in the process of completing a long-term, multi-faceted Knowledge Building Initiative on Qiwamah and Wilayah. This initiative resulted in the book Men in Charge? Rethinking Authority in Muslim Legal Tradition (Oneworld, 2015). It also facilitated the documentation of life stories of 58 women from 10 countries through the work of teams of Musawah Advocates involved in the Global Life Stories Project.

The Knowledge Building Programme Officer will help develop the final outputs from this qiwamah and wilayah initiative, and will coordinate the next phase of Musawah’s knowledge building activities focusing on building egalitarian jurisprudence on Muslim marriage. This is a unique opportunity to work with scholars and activists in an empowering, democratic process of producing and sharing knowledge related to women’s rights in Islam.

Musawah Knowledge Building Principles:

Musawah is a knowledge building movement, facilitating access to existing knowledge and creating new knowledge about women’s rights in Islam. We seek to apply feminist and rights-based lenses in understanding and searching for equality and justice within Muslim legal tradition. Such lenses help reveal the tension between the egalitarian and hierarchical voices in the tradition. This allows the emergence of women’s voices, which were for so long silenced in the production of religious knowledge, so that women’s concerns and interests can be reflected.

Musawah’s overall knowledge building objective is to build and share knowledge to support equality and justice in the Muslim family, using a holistic approach that combines Muslim jurisprudence, international human rights standards, national laws and constitutional guarantees of equality and non-discrimination, and the lived realities of women and men.

We believe that the production and sharing of knowledge should be participatory, recognise non-traditional forms of expertise, and begin from contexts rather than texts. In this way, the knowledge produced will be grounded in the lived realities of women and men, with such realities informing the approach to the issues and the questions being asked.

Job Description:

The Musawah Knowledge Building Programme Officer coordinates the activities of the Knowledge Building Working Group and collaborates with the Capacity Building, International Advocacy, and Communications Programme Officers and Working Groups to ensure the knowledge built is being shared widely.

The Knowledge Building Programme Officer works closely with the Musawah Knowledge Building Working Group to coordinate and implement programme planning and activities. She reports directly to the Musawah Coordinator in Rabat, Morocco, and the Convenor of the Working Group.


Programme Planning and Implementation
  • Work with Knowledge Building Working Group and members of the Secretariat in initiating, conceptualising and planning programmes and activities, in line with the Musawah Strategic Direction.
  • Coordinate the effective implementation of all knowledge building activities, including:
    • Facilitate the conceptualisation of a new knowledge building initiative that builds on ideas and insights arising from previous Musawah projects and on the centuries of effort by women around the world to promote and protect equality and justice in the family and in society;
    • Lead the implementation of this knowledge building initiative;
    • Ensure Musawah knowledge building principles are reflected in all aspects of the project work; 
    • Work closely with the Knowledge Building Working Group and scholars and activists commissioned to contribute to specific areas of the initiative such as writing background papers, conducting participatory research, and commenting on ideas and documents;
    • Organise workshops and meetings, including developing participant lists, drafting agendas to ensure strong participation from diverse participants, overseeing logistics, ensuring adequate documentation, and developing outputs and/or incorporating ideas and information into broader initiative outputs.
    • Ensure that documents are researched, drafted, consolidated, edited, and proofread so they convey complex ideas in simple, accessible ways. 
    • Facilitate and document regular Knowledge Building Working Group meetings (virtual and in-person) and maintain regular communications with the Working Group Convenor and members. 

Contributions to the Secretariat and movement

  • Work closely with the other Musawah programme officers and regularly participate in Secretariat, IAG and Steering Committee meetings (virtual and in-person) in order to share knowledge building activities and perspectives so they cross-fertilize with other Musawah areas of work.
  • Represent Musawah at various national, regional and international meetings to share knowledge building activities and ideas.
  • Contribute to the needs of the Secretariat and assist other Secretariat members in preparation for events and activities.

  • Develop fundraising proposals for knowledge building activities with support from the Coordinator, Resource Mobilization Working Group, and Steering Committee.
  • Prepare narrative reports related to knowledge building activities for donors.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience:

The small team working with the Musawah Secretariat are not so much ‘staff’ as activists and professionals who are deeply committed to Musawah’s principles and who work together to advance Musawah. They are therefore expected to be mainly self-managing and self-motivated, contributing effectively to Musawah.

As Musawah addresses equality and justice in the Muslim family, the majority of those leading Musawah and the majority of those working in the Secretariat are expected to have personal experience of Muslim family laws or practices.

The Knowledge Building Programme Officer should be able to meet some or all of the following:

  • Extensive knowledge and/or research experience in issues related to women, gender and Islam.
  • Passionate belief in the vision, mission and objectives of Musawah.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people and lead virtual teams.
  • Commitment to women’s human rights and a global feminist perspective.
  • Experience in coordinating programmes, projects or processes at national, regional, or international levels.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, especially related to drafting, editing, proofreading, and wordsmithing documents for diverse audiences.
  • Fluency in English. Fluency in Arabic and/or French are an advantage.
  • Strong sensitivity and commitment to diversity related to beliefs, perspectives, cultures, geography, sexuality.
  • Ability to travel internationally.
  • Available to begin by September 2015.

Location, Salary and Benefits:

Ideally, the successful candidate for the post of Knowledge Building Officer will be willing to be located in and work from the Secretariat offices in Rabat, Morocco. Musawah will consider candidates who need to live and work remotely.

Musawah offers a competitive salary that is appropriate for such a position in the non-profit sector, dependent upon experience and qualifications. All benefits as required by law will be provided.

How to apply:

Please send us a current CV / résumé, short samples of your writing in English (as well as Arabic/French if applicable), contact information for at least two references, and a cover letter of 1-2 pages that tells us about who you are, how you meet the essential criteria for the position, why you think Musawah might be right for you, and why you might be right for Musawah.

Send in your application to:
Please include ‘Musawah Knowledge Building Programme Officer’ in the subject line of the email.

We regret that applications received late or incomplete will not be considered. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for interviews by 14 August 2015.

We thank all those who apply, but only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Interviews will take place either in person or via Skype conferencing or telephone by the end of August.

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