7 NGO Jobs Working For Women’s Rights (And What You Need To Apply)

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Around the world, hundreds of millions of women and girls are affected by humanitarian crises or living in poverty. Women are marginalized in many communities. When these communities are impacted by disasters, the rights of women and girls often further deteriorate. There are many NGOs that run programmes aiming to improve the lives of women and girls and assist them to fully access their rights. Here we breakdown some of the top jobs in the NGO sector working for women’s empowerment…

GBV Coordinator

A first NGO job that fights for the rights of women and girls is the GBV Coordinator. In the NGO sector, GBV stands for gender-based violence. Many NGOs run programmes aiming to protect women from gender-based violence that are either living in poverty, or are impacted by crises, conflicts or disasters. These projects also aim to help women that are ongoing victims of GBV.

The role of the GBV Coordinator is to oversee the NGO’s GBV programme. They are the most senior position on a mission overseeing the GBV and women’s rights projects. The GBV Coordinator will usually provide guidance and technical advice to the GBV team working in the field.

How to Apply

As a senior management role, you will need some years’ experience working in NGOs in order to become a GBV Coordinator. Previous experience working on women’s rights projects will also be needed, as well as likely a formal qualification in social work, human rights or women’s studies.

Child Protection Officer

A second NGO job that works for women’s rights is the Child Protection Officer. When families and children are impacted by humanitarian crises, or are living in poverty, their network of protections are often broken. This makes children, and especially girls, highly vulnerable to exploitation, abuse and harm. NGOs run child protection projects aiming to limit these risks.

The job of the Child Protection Officer is to run an NGO’s child protection programme at field-level. This means they daily interact with children, women and families to try and ensure they do not come to harm. Many NGO child protection programmes focus especially on women and girls.

How to Apply

Most NGOs look for qualified social workers when recruiting for Child Protection Officers. You will definitely need some previous experience working with children in a safeguarding role to get the job. Being able to demonstrate an understanding of how NGO work assists children in need, including girls specifically, will benefit you.

Social Worker

A third NGO job that works closely with women and girls is the Social Worker. NGOs hire Social Workers to provide direct support to vulnerable people impacted by crises, conflicts or disasters, or living in poverty. Nany NGO Social Workers focus specifically on women and girls as they can become more vulnerable due to humanitarian crises or when living in destitution.

NGO Social Workers will directly support women by providing them with support, or by referring them to other organizations that can meet their needs. NGO Social Workers will usually take on a number of cases that they follow closely. The Social Worker is often line-managed by the GBV Officer.

How to Apply

You will need to be a qualified Social Worker in order to work for an NGO in the position assisting on women empowerment and protection projects.

GBV Programme Manager

Another role that fights for women’s right in the NGO sector, and is part of an NGO’s wider GBV work, is the GBV Programme Manager. This job is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day implementation of an NGO’s GBV projects. They usually divide their time between the NGO’s country office – based in the capital or major city, and the field stations.

Alongside ensuring the quality implementation of an NGOs GBV projects, the GBV Programme Manager also feeds into grant management and proposal development. The GBV Programme Manager will line-manage a team of GBV Supervisors and often reports to the GBV Coordinator or Head of Mission.

How to Apply

NGOs will be looking for candidates with several years’ experience running women’s empowerment programmes when recruiting for the role of GBV Programme Manager. They will also look for candidates who can demonstrate their understanding of project cycle management, as well as proposal writing and grant management.

GBV Online Courses

John Hopkins University offers an online course called Confronting Gender-Based Violence: Global Lessons for Healthcare Workers. The course focuses on the role healthcare workers can play in identifying, assisting and preventing gender-based violence. The course explores the impact, health outcomes, research and best practice for health workers when they encounter gender-based violence.

The Stanford University online course International Women’s Health and Human Rights takes an expansive approach to covering some of the major issues facing women worldwide. Covering health and human rights issues women face from infancy through childhood, adulthood and into old age, the course explores practical interventions that have succeeded in addressing these issues.

The Supporting Victims of Domestic Violence online course by the University of Sheffield explains theoretical and practical ways for identifying, assisting victims and preventing gender-based violence. It sees GBV as a global health issue and explains how health professionals can play a crucial role in recognizing and preventing violence against women.

MHPSS Coordinator

Many women experience severe trauma as a result of humanitarian crises, or through living in destitution. NGOs run mental health programmes to try and provide support to these women. In the NGO sector, MHPSS stands for mental health and psycho-social support. The MHPSS Coordinator is responsible to overseeing an NGO’s MHPSS programme.

The MHPSS Coordinator line-manages a team of MHPSS Officers who are stationed in the field bases. They usually report to the Head of Programmes or the Country Director. The MHPSS Coordinator also feeds into funding proposals and assists with the grant management for the MHPSS projects.

How to Apply

You will need to hold a formal qualification related to mental health in order to get the job as a MHPSS Coordinator with an NGO. As a senior management role, you will also need several years’ experience working on NGO projects in roles related to MHPSS.

Human Rights Officer

In many places around the world women and girls are unable to enjoy their human rights fully. One job that is common in the NGO sector that fights for the rights of women is a role of Human Rights Officer. This job assists with an NGO’s human rights programming. Many Human Rights Officer jobs in NGOs focus on improving human rights for women in the areas the NGO works.

The Human Rights Officer in an NGO may work as part of a wider human rights divisions within the organization. They may also be attached to a women’s rights or GBV team, and supports that team with human rights inputs.

How to Apply

To become a Human Rights Officer for an NGO that specializes in women’s human rights, you will need to demonstrate a combined understanding of human rights, their implementations and how NGO work supports them, with women’s issues more broadly.

SRH Advisor

A final NGO job that works for women’s rights is the SRH Advisor. In the NGO sector, SRH stands for sexual and reproductive health. Many women affected by humanitarian crises, or living in poverty, are unable to access the reproductive healthcare they need. Family planning is also difficult for woman living in these contexts. The SRH Advisor is one of the most senior SRH roles in an NGO.

The job of the SRH Advisor is to provide technical guidance to an NGO’s SRH programme. They are often based in the country office but will travel frequently to the field bases. They usually do not line manage a team, but provide guidance to the health or GBV teams as needed.

How to Apply

You will need a background in sexual and reproductive health to get the role as SRH Advisor with an NGO. A healthcare qualification, with expertise in SRH is often highly sought. As a senior advisory role, you will also need several years’ experience working on NGO projects, ideally related to SRH, to be successful in your application.

If you want to learn more about GBV roles in the NGO sector, see our page on the top GBV online courses here.


Duncan is the founder of Humanitarian Careers. With over ten years experience in the aid industry across fifteen countries, Duncan set-up Humanitarian Careers to help people launch their own career in international aid.