Namibia: Job Vacancy - Coalition of African Lesbians

Job Vacancy

Employer: Coalition of African Lesbians

Position: Director of the Secretariat

Location: Based in Namibia, with extensive travel to CAL member countries

Line management: Reporting to the Executive Committee through the Chairperson or her designate

Start date: November 1, 2006


CAL is a non-profit membership based continental organisation that aims to advocate and lobby for the political, sexual, cultural and economic rights of African lesbians, and to work for the eradication of stigma and discrimination against them, by engaging strategically with African and international structures and allies. Its vision is the building of a strong, visible, knowledgeable and articulate African lesbian women’s movement using, among other things, the tools of feminist research and analysis, and the vehicle of creative expression. Accordingly, CAL supports the development of lesbian organisations and the strengthening of lesbian leadership in Africa at community, national and regional levels.

The Secretariat is based for the time being in Namibia, and the organisation is to be registered as a non-profit organisation with charitable status in accordance with the laws of that country. Its membership is currently made up of fifteen organisations from eleven countries in Southern, East and West Africa.


The Director of the Secretariat will: ensure the proper, effective establishment and capacitating of the Secretariat; effect the due registration and, thereafter, legal and financial sustainability, of the organisation; oversee the operations of the Secretariat and the management of CAL’s programmes; and ensure that the organisation works towards its vision and mission.


As a result of this appointment, it is expected that the appropriate administrative and operational systems and structures will be put in place and maintained to ensure that programmes are effectively run, members receive required support, and the organisation meets its targets and fulfils its obligations to donors, allies and other stakeholders.

Job Responsibilities

  1. Manage and co-ordinate the operations of the Secretariat of CAL, including the employment of staff
  2. Co-ordinate all the activities of the organisation and all its organs and internal structures
  3. Manage, and oversee the development of, CAL’s research, creative expression and leadership development programmes
  4. Assist in the development of policy, and of research, advocacy and development agendas for the organisation
  5. Fundraise for the organisation’s core operations and programme work
  6. Upon the express instructions of the Executive Committee, open and maintain bank accounts for the organisation, and hold and manage all the funds, property and other material resources of the organisation
  7. Collect, organise and maintain all records and data of the organisation relating to registration and legal status, funding and finances, programmes, membership, or any other matter whatsoever properly concerning the organisation
  8. Ensure the implementation of the decisions of the EC and General Assembly, and the fulfilment of all the organisation’s contractual and other obligations
  9. Provide administrative support to the EC, and make all logistical arrangements for CAL processes, and for the representation of the organisation in other processes
  10. Prepare or cause to be prepared the minutes and agendas of the Executive Committee, and the General Assembly proceedings reports
  11. Handle all correspondence for the attention of the Executive Committee and the General Assembly
  12. Ensure that members are kept advised about all developments, and receive notices and other urgent and important information in a timely manner.
  13. Represent the organisation, and provide strategic leadership, subject to the direction of the chairperson
  14. Nurture and support the building of strategic partnerships and alliances that will add value to CAL’s work


Skills and Attributes

  1. Complete familiarity with the concepts of gender, sexuality, sexual health and rights, sexual orientation and lesbianism
  2. A conceptual and practical understanding of the issues, needs and concerns of women and sexual minorities living in Africa, including the socio-political environment as relating to women’s and LGBTI rights
  3. Extensive experience in human rights and gender advocacy work
  4. Familiarity with feminist principles and tools of analysis
  5. A thorough understanding of research principles and methodologies; extensive practical experience in a research environment
  6. Experience in conducting skills-building activities, and in facilitating various types of deliberations, and decision-making processes
  7. A passion for developing others, coupled with an ability to build capacity for staff and CAL members
  8. Experience in the development of networks and organisations
  9. Experience in fundraising, financial management and report-writing
  10. Experience in working in teams and in leading mixed teams of professionals and volunteers
  11. Fluency in English. Fluency also in French and at least one African language would be a distinct advantage.
  12. Good communication skills, including competence in the range of office-oriented computer applications, such as MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint and internet / email programmes
  13. Experience in working with diverse cultures, religions and languages across the continent


  1. First degree in any Social Sciences discipline
  2. Accredited training in Human Rights and/or Gender Advocacy
  3. At least five (5) years work experience in the LGBTI / Gender / Human Rights sector/s
  4. Candidates should preferably be female and of African descent, and should have resided in an African country for a continuous or cumulative period of at least eighteen (18) months in the past five (5) years

Application Process

Applicants should submit the following:

  • Motivation letter
  • CV not exceeding three (3) pages, including full details of at least three (3) references
  • Copies of certificates/degrees

For the attention of the Vice Chairperson, at the following address/es:

CAL Secretariat,
C/o The Rainbow Project,
PO Box 26122,

Applications should be received in the Secretariat, by post/courier or email, no later than Tuesday September 26, 2006. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Interviews will take place either in Windhoek, Namibia, or Johannesburg, South Africa, during the second week of October, 2006.