The W+ Standard

The W+ Standard is a unique certification label developed by WOCAN that endorses projects that create increased social and economic benefits for women participating in economic development or environment projects, including those that provide renewable energy technologies, time and labor saving devices, forest and agriculture activities, and employment opportunities.

The W+ is thus an innovative framework to quantify and monetize the social capital created by women, to recognize and reward their contributions to sustainable environments and communities.
 
The W+ measures women’s empowerment in six domains: Time, Income & Assets, Health, Leadership, Education & Knowledge and Food Security. It produces quantified women-benefit units that contribute towards post 2015 Sustainability Goals (SDGs), Climate Financing or Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) targets.

Vist W+ Standard website for more detail: www,wplus.org

Why a W+ Standard?

In much of the world, women comprise the majority of farmers and natural resource managers, yet are often excluded from decision-making and do not have an equal access to resources. Strengthening women’s empowerment will provide environmental, social and economic benefits for climate change adaptation and mitigation, resilience and food security.

Governments, development agencies and investors are increasingly funding women’s empowerment/ gender equality, based on women’s rights and evidence of improved project outcomes. However, what is lacking for many is a robust means of measuring these outcomes in a way that can be simply communicated.

How will the W+ Standard be Implemented?

Existing or new projects should assess how the W+ can be integrated into their project.  Any type of economic development or environment project is potentially applicable: forest, renewable energy, clean water, agriculture, etc.  Projects must plan for and measure progress in at least one of the six domains: Income and Assets, Time, Education and Knowledge, Leadership, Food Security and Health.  Once projects are defined and underway their outcomes will be monitored and measured and verified by an external auditor that has been approved by WOCAN. Organizations/projects that have obtained satisfactory results will be issued W+ certificates for a specific number of units which can then be sold to corporations, investors and individual buyers. The W+ will also provide a new revenue stream to women and their groups through benefit sharing mechanisms required by the Standard.

For more information go to W+ Website: www.wplus.org

Technical Assistance 

WOCAN provides technical assistance in building capacities for gender and women’s empowerment programming and monitoring and evaluation, and can guide Project Developers in each step of the W+ standard application. Project Developers will gain knowledge and expertise on how to measure women’s empowerment using the W+ Standard as a result of receiving this assistance.

 

 

More Detail: 

 
November 15, 2017
The U.S. African Development Foundation invites proposals for grant financing and local support, from African enterprises, cooperatives, and producer groups with innovative solutions that extend their own capabilities to increase revenues, create jobs, improve farmer incomes, and achieve sustainable market-based growth. Maximum award US $250,000 Proposals will only be accepted from...
In programs: Membership Engagement
November 19, 2017
Jeannette discussed the W+ Standard during the panel discussion on gender impact measurement at the Gender Lens Investing in Asia workshop on 19 Nov in Bangkok, Thailand. The other panelists represented the Women's World Banking, Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA), Institute for Social Entrepreneurship in Asia (ISEA) and OXFAM. The panelists discussed various measurements tools...
In programs: The W+ Standard
November 9, 2017
WOCAN facilitated theGender Integrated Planning workshop for Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) on 7-9 November 2017 in Pattaya, Thailand. A training team from Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources Management (WOCAN) conducted the workshop. A total of 27 participants (16 women and 11 men) from five countries (Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia...
November 9, 2017
This year, EVPA Annual Conference took place in Oslo on 9-10 Nov. The agenda included for the first time two sessions on gender lens investing. Maria Lee, WOCAN Assistant Director presented the W+ Standard in both sessions and explained how it could be used to measure investment’s impact on women’s empowerment and to unveil opportunities to enhance social and financial results....
In programs: Innovation Incubator
November 14, 2017
The People-Centered Accelerator was officially launched on Nov. 14th at COP 23 with Rachel Kyte, Chief Executive Officer of SEforALL, and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All. The Accelerator aims to enhance clean energy access for the poorest people, who will not be reached by business as usual approaches; by unlocking finance from private and public...
In programs: The W+ Standard
November 14, 2017
After a decade of work from civil society and negotiations with Member States, countries adopted the first UNFCCC Gender Action Plan (GAP). The objective of the GAP is to advance women’s full, equal and meaningful participation and promote gender-responsive climate policies and actions. The Gender Action Plan identifies five priority areas: (1) capacity building, knowledge sharing and...
In programs: The W+ Standard
November 13, 2017
WOCAN co-hosted a side event at COP 23 in Bonn together with FairClimateFund and Solar Cookers Internationalon 13 Nov. This was an opportunity for the three organizations to show case how they are bridging climate solutions and women’s empowerment. Maria Lee WOCAN Assistant Director, introduced the event with a short movie showing the W+ application to a Nepal biogas project which...
In programs: The W+ Standard
October 11, 2017
A two-day workshop on Mainstreaming Gender in the Organization was organized by the Mekong River Commission Secretariat with partial funding support from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) / the Embassy of Sweden on the 12 and 13October. A training team from Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources Management (WOCAN) conducted the workshop....
October 8, 2017
The FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (RAP) commissioned Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (WOCAN) to organize and conduct a three-day (s) workshop on integrating gender into climate risk assessment and adaptation planning of the NAP-Ag program at the local level from 8-10 Oct in Kathmandu, Nepal. A total of 28 participants (11 women and 17...
October 10, 2017
Almost one year has passed and we are proud to say that winning the UNFCCC 2016 award enabled WOCAN to showcase the W+ Standard as a means to make a positive impact on women’s empowerment and climate simultaneously. Since then, we have taken concrete steps. Last month, we announced a new mechanism to link co-benefits of women’s empowerment with carbon projects. WOCAN’s W...
In programs: The W+ Standard

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Nov
10
Session:Advancing the economic empowerment of women by Investing with a Gender Lens – Lessons learned and alliances built Friday November 10, 2017 11:15 – 12:45 Impact investors increasingly include gender lens as an attractive tool to provide social and financial returns. The level of involvement and experience within this field vary amongEVPA members. In this...
In programs: The W+ Standard
Sep
20
To celebrate the recently-announced partnership with the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), WOCAN is hosting two panel sessions from 1pm to 3pm, on September 20th, at the Hilton Garden Inn - Park Avenue, 45 East 33rd St., NY. Through WOCAN’s W+ Standard, community development and carbon projects can now add on credible, measurable women’s empowerment co-benefits, providing...
In programs: The W+ Standard
May
23
Towards Transformational Change: Upgrading Women’s Roles within Agricultural Value Chains| Date: May 23, 2:30 PM– 4:15 PM, Connections 1 Venue:Amari Watergate Bangkok, 847 Petchburi Road, Ratchathewi, Bangkok, Thailand 10400 Chaired byAdam Smith International While significant advances have been made in integrating WEE into market system...
Jun
8
Agriculture is the cornerstone of many Asian economies with about 40% of the population depending on this sector for their livelihoods. Women involved in agriculture are particularly vulnerable to discrimination and exploitation. This session during the AVPN 2017 Conference will highlight approaches to Gender Lens Investing in Agriculture across several Asian countries. Jeannette will moderate...
In programs: The W+ Standard
Mar
21
This is the annual workshop for the partner organizations of the Swedish Development Cooperation inAsia and the Pacific region. The purpose of this workshop is to provide opportunity for participants to get to know eachother’s work, beyond lessons learned – in order to co-create and strategize for mutually beneficialcollaboration to deliver on the Sustainable...
In programs: Membership Engagement
Nov
16
UNFCCC is organizing a series of special events from 12-17 November at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Marrakech (COP 22), to celebrate the 2016 Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activities with inspiring videos, photography, roundtable discussions, an exhibition space and an evening award ceremony. The W+ Standard's pilot project in Nepal is one of the winners for the Momentum...
In programs: The W+ Standard
Nov
22
Click here toRegister There is currently a momentum for companies and organizations to proclaim their goals and targets for women’s empowerment and gender equality. Many of these are doing so in support of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal #5, to “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”. Others understand the link of gender equality and...
In programs: The W+ Standard
Sep
16
WOCAN invites other Bay Area leaders supporting women’s empowerment and the integration of gender equality in climate change, food security and poverty elimination projects in Asia, Africa and Latin America to learn more about our programs, and discuss areas of common interest with WOCAN’s Executive Director and Board of Directors. WOCAN...

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This is a joint statement of GenderCC´s & LIFE´s on the outcomes of COP23. They actively participated through formal interventions in the plenaries, meetings with national delegations, policyrecommendations and public activities. They express their concernes about theabsence of human rights and gender equality in the negotiations on these implementation guidelines....
In programs: The W+ Standard
This brief publication is an effort toboth elevate and celebrate the role women are playing to meet the 2030 deadline and to makethe case for more women leaders to step forward and lead for the future we want. While wehave made significant progress in the participation of women in leadership roles in many partsof the world, there is much-unfinished business. The purpose of...
In programs: The W+ Standard
This report focuses on 45 countries where there are significant challenges in providing sustainable energy services to all, including access to electricity, clean cooking, renewable energy, and energy efficiency. This report highlights 10 promising projects are examples of success; but to go beyond incremental improvement to wide-scale success, far bigger shifts are needed towards approaches that...
This IFAD policy brief emphasizes that food security and nutrition for all can only be accomplished under conditions of sustainable progress in ensuring the elimination of all forms of gender discrimination and full participation of rural women in all spheres of society – economic, social and political. The approaches to empowerment need to be society-wide and transformative, addressing the...
Any intervention in a village requires strong community support. This cannot be trained or tick marked, as it is not easily measurable. Underlying every community and household is constant change. Male out-migration changes women’s work load, their mobility and need to speak up for their family. However, their agency might be restricted by gendered norms. Social change, the change of norms...
This paper provides a brief synthesis of research conducted on gender in irrigation, and the toolsand frameworks used in the past to promote improvement for women in on-farm agriculturalwater management. It then presents results from the pilot of the Gender in Irrigation Learning andImprovement Tool (GILIT) in locations in Malawi and Uzbekistan in 2015. Through the results of...
Sexual and reproductive rights are often missed out ofthe development equation.4 Reports from the grassrootslevel tell us that communities affected by climate changeperpetuate existing gender norms, and highlight theoccurrence of early/child marriage and gender-basedviolence. This shows that interventions on climate change,including climate extreme events, need...
In programs: Membership Engagement
This case study analyses and compares the roleof women and men in two production systemsdominated by rice–rice (double cropping) and rice–shrimp. It assesses the gender division of labour, timeuse and work burden, and reviews the access to andadoption of labour-saving technologies and services.The research draws attention to the importanceof making...
This paper,reviews climate change relatedpolicies and strategies in East Africa through a gendered lens. The countries whose legislativeand policy frameworks are in focus include: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia. Thestudy assesses how these countries have integrated gender in their climate change legislation,policies and strategies to support the vulnerable...
Across many parts of Indonesia, investment in oil palm has brought accelerated forms ofland acquisition and market engagement for communities, signalling far-reachingimplications for equity and well-being of current and future generations. This paperuses a conjunctural feminist political ecology approach to explore gendered andgenerational engagements with oil palm in...

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