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Call for Kiswahili, Arabic and Portuguese Translators

Terms of reference for translators 

Type of service : Translation of CAL documents, reports, case studies etc from English to Kiswahili, Portuguese or Arabic

Type of contract : Consultancy as per project

Expected starting date : As soon as possible 

Application deadline : 19 February 2021 


The objective of this call is to create a database/pool of translators that will translate a range of organisational and programmatic documents from English to Kiswahili, Portuguese or Arabic.

Introduction and background

The Coalition of African Lesbians [CAL] is a feminist, activist and pan Africanist network of 14 organisations in 10 countries in sub-Saharan Africa committed to advancing freedom, justice and bodily autonomy for all women on the African continent and beyond. The Coalition is committed to raising consciousness amongst and strengthening activism and leadership of lesbian women on sexuality and gender and their intersections with a wide range of lived realities. We understand the place of Africa in the world and work in ways that affirm African agency and power to contribute to transformative change on the continent and in the world.

The Coalition believes in the power of collective action and view ourselves as a part of social movements, including the women’s movement, the sexual and reproductive rights movement and the economic justice movement.

As part of our Pan-African and feminist values and our commitment to Feminist Movement Building across the continent and the global South, it is imperative that all CAL documents, communications and reports be accessible to as many partners, allies and members as possible. CAL is, therefore, inviting applications from suitably qualified Kiswahili, Portuguese and Arabic translators. 

The selected candidates will be added to CALs translator database and will, throughout the year, be asked to assist with the translation of programmatic as well as organisational documents, including content on CAL’s website. 

Purpose of consultancy 

To form part of a database of Kiswahili, Portuguese and Arabice translators who will undertake to translate programmatic and organisational documents and reports from English to Kiswahili, Portuguese or Arabic and from Kiswahili, Portuguese and Arabic to English 

Scope of the work

The translators will undertake the following duties and responsibilities.

  • Make written translation and submit translation in word processed documents; 
  • Proofread and edit documents;
  • Share draft translations with CAL secretariat;
  • Incorporate suggested changes to the translation; 
  • Ensure high quality and accuracy of the entire document; 
  • Ensure accuracy of the terms and terminology used in the documents;
  • Ensure that the translation is written with style, correct grammar and spelling, and
  • Complete the work within the agreed timeline and submit the final translation in soft copy. 

Required skills and experiences 

  • At least 2 years of experience in working in the Human Rights sector;  
  • Demonstrated good understanding of Feminist praxis and language, as well as Women’s and Sexual rights frames of analysis and terminology;
  • Proven skills in translation and interpretation from  Kiswahili/Portuguese/Arabic  into English and vice versa in the fields of Human Rights. 


  • Excellent teamwork skills;
  • Ability to work independently; and
  • Excellent computer skills in word and data processing and presentation.

Application Procedure  

If you meet the qualifications of the post, please submit the following documents to,  and 

  1. Personal CV indicating all past experience from similar projects and references
  2. Rate card
  3. Completed assignment  (Appendix A)

The last date for receiving completed applications is 19 February 2021

Appendix A

Please translate the following into Portuguese, Arabic or Kiswahili.

CAL: A Problem Analysis

Our work at CAL is shaped by an African radical feminist understanding, informed by research, and strengthened by the claiming of social and economic power. Embedded in our ways of working is a power analysis that necessitates that we work with others to build a world where we are all free and enjoy equal access to opportunities and resources and live in dignity. 

The key barriers to the change we wish to see can be encompassed through  a lack of freedom and autonomy, dignity and equality in society insofar as our bodies and lives are concerned. The state and religious institutions aim to own and control our bodies through the elevation of the status, authority and decision making power of heteronormatively gendered people. The value of bodies and the purposes for which they are intended, who can access and ‘use’ them, and for what purposes, who can authorize such use and the ways that desire and bodies can be deployed are both prescribed, regulated and standardized by these institutions. The ability to make decisions for oneself and one’s own wellbeing and health is constrained, controlled and contained with strong sanctions imposed against those who defy, resist and ignore these boundaries.

Very often organising strategies and analyses are slanted towards ‘freedom from’ narratives, for example, freedom from disease, violence, exploitation, “trafficking” and so on. Solely focusing on ‘freedom from’ narratives leaves us vulnerable to increasing our focus on  violence without actually addressing its root causes and eradicating all its forms. In relation to sexual violence, for example, we are able to name the violence for what it is and link it to the systemic and patriarchal ownership of sexual decision making exercised by and through heteronormative men. There are currently fewer resources, including money, time, effort and political space for opening up conversation about and opportunities to make real the sexual and gender related rights which are based on the idea of “freedom to”[choose, exercise autonomy]. 

Multilateral human rights institutions and intergovernmental spaces are often spaces for tussels between states that seem committed to advancing the right to health and development and closing disparities and gaps in this regard and those who are not. More and more we’ve seen ‘progressive’ states adot language that affirms the autonomy of adults in their interventions. Multilateral human rights institutions, however, are also spaces, albeit quietly so, for trade agreements and continuing economic exploitation and ‘progressive’ states will not push human rights insofar as they deter from their economic ventures. 

From a feminist perspective and based on our own learning and reflections, the challenges faced by persons based on sexual orientation and gender identity are clearly shared by many in the face of deepening misogyny, patriarchy, heteronormativity and a crisis in democracy and fueled by growing conflicts all in a context of violence, often state sanctioned and militarization. The impacts of these on autonomy is experienced by many, including sex workers,  women and people living with HIV and by those who seek and offer abortion services. They all require addressing by movements, communities and decision makers in all geographies . Autonomy,freedom and bodily integrity are at the core  and it is this that must be addressed, whether its denial is on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity or any other grounds. 

The question of autonomy and freedom is the basis of our organizing and the connections between individuals, groups and communities whose autonomy is constrained by legal, policy, institutional and practice interventions must be recognised, strengthened and developed further. This work is social justice work and must be seen as such. It is work needed by all as human sexuality is a reality for all of us.