Terms of Reference for Research Consultant of
SHOKHIProject on Women’s Health, Rights and Choices

Implemented by Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust, Marie Stopes Bangladesh, We Can and Bangladesh Women’s Health Coalition
Funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Duration: December 2013-November 2017

1. Background

Shokhi, a multi-partner initiative, is focused on increasing the social and economic empowerment of women living in Dhaka city and thereby increase their opportunities to lead a safe, healthy and happy life with dignity. It seeks to address discriminatory attitudes which perpetuate and condone violence against women and girls and prevent their access to services and employment; lack of awareness among women and girls about their health and legal rights; the absence of protection of women's rights by relevant stakeholders and inaccessibility of health and legal services due to distance, cost, lack of an effective referral or coordination between services.

SHOKHI has previously conducted research on the continuing application of gender discriminatory laws and procedures, and in particular on the use of character evidence of complainants of rape, and also on victim and witness protection. In conducting legal awareness programmes and providing legal services, SHOKHI has found that the existing definition of rape in Bangladesh excludes many women and girls who experience serious forms of sexual violencefrom legal protection.  

2. Description of assignment

In this context, Shokhi intends to undertake an analysis of existing lawsin Bangladesh on sexual violence (including but not limited to Nari o Shishu Nirjaton Domon Ain 2000 [as amended in 2003] and the Bangladesh Penal Code 1872), identifying their gaps and limitations, and proposing recommendations for reform.

This analysis will includeto the following:

  • A review of applicable Bangladesh laws on sexual violence
  • Areview of reported judgments on rape from 2006-2016
  • An analysis of how the laws and judgments address the question of consent
  • An analysis of whether and howissues of age, identity, location andoccupation impact the abilityof women and girls to invoke legal protection
  • Recommendations for legal reform to ensure that women and girls can access remedies against sexual violence without discrimination.

3. Scope of work and Deliverables:

  • Prepare a methodology and outline for research.
  • Complete a desk review of relevant research reports, laws and judgments on sexual violencein Bangladesh (only reported judgments from 2006-2016).
  • Write a draft report (English) with key findings, recommendationsand a bibliography.
  • Presentation ofthe draft report to Shokhi consortium.
  • Preparation of the final report with comments from Shokhi incorporated,including an executive summary (maximum 10 pages) in English and Bangla.

4. Timeline:

25working days ending by30 September 2017. The deadline for each of the deliverables are as follows:


1. Presentation of draft to Shokhi consortium.

20 September 2017

2. Submission of final reportwith comments from Shokhi incorporated,including executive summary (maximum 10 pages) in English and Bangla.

30 September 2017

5. Payment Schedule

  • 1st installment:30% to be paid after satisfactory submission of the first draft of the research.
  • Final installment: 70% to be paid after satisfactory submission of the final report of the research incorporating all comments received.

6. Qualifications of the Consultant

The Consultant should have experience/expertise in the following areas:

  • At least 7 years’ professional experience in legal research.
  • Proficiency in qualitative research methodology.
  • Experience in developing research reports (English and Bangla).
  • Experience in gender issues, preferably with focus on violence against women and girls.
  • Qualifications as a practicing criminal lawyer would be an asset.

7. How to Apply

  • Consultants whomeet the requirements outlined above are invited to submit a technical proposal of a maximum of ten pages(setting out their expertise, experience, workplan, with clear timeschedule) and a financial plan with a cover letter to the office of BLAST.
  • Apply by email to purchase@blast.org.bd addressing Advisor (Management), BLASTunder the subject line of ‘Research Consultant under SHOKHI project’ with your CV and photograph including the name and contact details (including the email address).
  • Deadline: 23 August 2017 not later than 5:00pm.