Gender Advisor
Position # 1243-015


Volunteer Cooperant (VC/OS)
Unaccompanied assignment - This assignment does not include support for accompanying partners or dependants




SRI LANKA , Rathmalana


12 months


Departure date is contingent upon completion of administrative file and approval of visa. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and position will remain open until filled.


Uniterra is a voluntary cooperation program and international development program which aims to strengthen organizations and networks through the pooling and exchange of expertise and knowledge. Jointly implemented by the Centre for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI) and World University Service of Canada (WUSC), Uniterra contributes to improving the socio-economic conditions of local communities in 14 countries in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and Asia.

In Sri Lanka, Uniterra will work towards improving of the socio-economic conditions of women and youth in the island. Uniterra volunteers will support partnering organisations to increase capacities of at least 10,000 women and youth to be empowered, employed or increase their incomes over the next 5 years. 60% of whom will be women and at least 50% youth. To achieve this, Uniterra will work within the market system of three sub-sectors of Garments, Tea, Tourism and Hospitality, to make them more inclusive to women and youth.


MAS Intimates is the largest Division of MAS Holdings, a renowned apparel manufacturer in the Asian region. They engage in apparel manufacturing and is the preferred innovation and launch partner for global lingerie brands. Their vision is: "inspire, innovate, create value and respect humanity". Their culture is built upon their corporate values which are humility, passion for excellence, freedom with accountability, trust and mutual respect. MAS Intimates’ customer portfolio includes Victoria’s Secret, Marks & Spencer, La Senza, GAP, Soma, DBA, H&M, Calvin Klein, Spanx, Zara, and Athleta.

The MAS Women Go Beyond (WGB) program was launched in 2003. It is an inclusive women’s empowerment program that raised the standards of the apparel industry in Sri Lanka. The program focuses on promoting knowledge, awareness, leadership skills, attitudinal changes and the ability to achieve a well-rounded and holistic life-experience. The WGB program at present is successful in addressing some of grassroots employee needs through tactical and practical interventions to empowering their almost 75% female workforce. They are currently looking at creating conditions which are conducive to mainstreaming gender neutrality at all levels of the organization.They are looking at creating the required systemic and cultural changes within their operating control. Their objective is to impact existing employees, potential recruits and have a general impact on women and girls in the community and the apparel industry.


  • Interact with staff at MAS through meetings and interviews to help gather information and promote the on-going development and implementation of gender and diversity- related initiatives;
  • Deliver workshops on diversity and gender to all staff at different levels to make them aware of the gender concepts, roles and transformative changes needed to promote gender in the industry. Mentoring and development of future facilitators will be key to sustainability of the program;
  • Operationalize research findings and recommendations including developing reference material for supervisors, human resources, and staff and develop an electronic Gender and Diversity Resource Centre;
  • Gather and monitor training feedback to ensure understanding and change in perception or behaviors. Make changes to course material as required to reflect new research and to ensure the material is relevant to the organization.


  • Education in international development with a focus on Gender Mainstreaming;
  • 2-5 years' experience in international development or gender mainstreaming;
  • Ability to take initiative, resourcefulness, capacity to work independently and a proven ability to work as part of a team;
  • Ability to work with people from different cultural backgrounds;
  • Exposure to Asian perspectives in gender is preferred.


  • Support and guidance prior to departure and while on assignment in country.
  • Participation in a pre-departure training where you will have the opportunity to learn about the program, gain practical skills for living and working in an intercultural context and meet other volunteers. Travel, meals and accommodation are covered.
  • In-country orientation and briefing upon arrival in-country.
  • Language training in-country where required.
  • Return flights, visas and work permits.
  • Cost of required country specific vaccinations and antimalarials.
  • Health insurance.
  • Modest monthly living allowance while overseas.
  • Accommodation while overseas.
  • Vacation leave entitlement.
  • Return debriefing in Canada after completion of assignment. Travel, meals and accommodation are covered.
  • An incredible opportunity to enhance your professional skills and participate in an experience of a lifetime!


  • Applicants must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada between the age of 18-70.
  • Departure date is contingent upon the timely completion of all administrative requirements (e.g. visa processes, medical clearance, police checks, travel documentation).
  • With the support of the program, all volunteers shall undertake to make a minimum financial contribution of $1,500 for participating in the program.


  • You must ensure that you have a SYGESCA session open and that your profile contains a curriculum vitae before applying for the position.