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,

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:

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: 

May 1, 2012
The workshop included an orientation on gender analysis and 2 days field work in four different communities in the project sites. The study assessed the extent to which the project has incorporated a gender perspective, and provided recommendations and gender responsive action plans to ensure that the project activities and benefit sharing mechanisms are responsive to the needs of women and men...
In programs:
May 2, 2012
Dibya Gurung, WOCAN's Coordinator for Nepal participated in the AWID Forum and shared experiences on rural women's leadership and actively participated in different sessions related to access to and control over resources, climate change, land rights and food security. WOCAN together with OXFAM, Canada and GROW from Mexico organised a Breakout session on "Women Transforming the Food...
In programs:
February 7, 2012
L2L Dialogue combines women's concerns with social change and community mobilization. L2L Dialogue fulfills the promise of women's empowerment as a change model. Grassroots women's work to map and analyze gender and power relationships becomes the foundation of their strategies for reconfiguring these relationships. L2L Dialogue actively addresses both strategic and practical concerns...
In programs:
February 15, 2012
Funding is very limited and is restricted to those who meet the conditions stated in the application. Applications for participation in the 3rd Inter-sessional Rio+20 in New York, USA, from 26-27 of March must be received by 17:00 EST, 26 February 2012. Applications for participation in the 3rd Prepcom and the UNCSD2012 conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, must be received by 17:00 EST, 12...
In programs:
February 21, 2012
The award will honor an individual who is working closely and directly "in the field" or at the production or processing level with farmers, animal herders, fishers or others in rural communities, in any discipline or enterprise across the entire food production, processing, and distribution chain. To nominate a deserving individual, please fill this on-line form: http://www....
In programs:
January 11, 2012
WOCAN needs your vote to win an observer seat at the Forest Investment Program. The next steps in the selection process are as follows: Step 1: Your organization's application, along with the applications of several other candidates, will be included on the ballot for your region's seat on the committee or subcommittee. Step 2: On Tuesday, January 3, 2012, RESOLVE will open the voting...
In programs:
February 7, 2012
Everyone readily accepts the idea that having to pursue a career while still needing to raise children and manage household matters presents an obstacle to women, but most never think beyond this to recognise the implications. While women in Nepal are certainly gaining support this hardly gets to the root of the matter. Annina Lubbock from the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD...
In programs:
February 13, 2012
Jeannette Gurung was invited to speak to the Ministry of Forests, Indonesia and donors regarding Gender and REDD+ in Jakarta on Feb.10. She shared there WOCAN's plans to develop an initiative in Indonesia with women's groups managing forest resources. Several senior women officials within the Ministry showed keen interest in a partnership with WOCAN.
In programs:
February 13, 2012
Jeannette Gurung and WOCAN Core Associate Kanchan Lama attended The Forest Dialogue’s Field Dialogue on Investing in Locally Controlled Forestry, held 6-9 February in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The meeting brought together partners engaged in commercial forest management to define key steps that are critical for successful deals for ILCF in Indonesia; Identify concrete actions for developing...
In programs:
February 28, 2012
The focus of the WPW Experts' Meeting was on gender statistics with special emphasis on Sex Disaggregated Data and Core Gender Indicators in Agriculture at the household level. It was discovered that there was scarcity of these data in the Eastern European and Central Asian countries. As a result, it was recommended that gender focal points be established and institutionalized for sound...
In programs:


This resource manual produced by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and theWorld Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA)is available to help prepare and facilitate training workshops for young women on a variety of issues, including leadership, economic justice, HIV and AIDS, human rights and peace.
This document by Bela Malik, Lena Karlsson and Ravi Karkara is an overview of a three-day workshop organised by Save the Children-Sweden in Kathmandu in March 2004 on 'strengthening partnership with men and boys to promote gender equality and end violence against girls and boys'. You get a synopsis of the publication here:
Excerpt from the publication: Despite the rhetorical support in many governmental and non-governmental organizations and projects, progressive policies for gender equality are frequently not implemented or effective. Due to the traditional domination by men in organizations engaged in agriculture and natural resource management, these sectors seem particularly resistant to gender initiatives,...
This essay, written by Irene Tinker, explores the expansion of women's organizations since the 1960s and the implications for the empowerment of women. Empowerment just happened. No one, as he planned economic development for the developing countries, intended to empower women. Indeed, leading theorists like Walt Rostow and Edward Banfield, had a negative view of women, assuming their...
The GCARD Road Map establishes an inclusive, rolling process of reform and capacity development that aims to mobilize the full power of agricultural knowledge and innovation towards meeting agriculture and food-related development needs. It proposes a six-point plan for transforming agricultural research for development around the world, requiring actions from all those involved in the generation...
An outline and annotated bibliography by Emily Esplen for the Institute of Development Studies. Published, October 2006. Excerpt from "Engaging Men in Gender Equality": There has been much resistance on the part of some women to involving men in gender and development work – driven by fears about the dilution of the feminist agenda, and by anxieties over the diversion of limited...
The Gender in Agriculture Sourcebook presents a rich compilation of experiences, some of them ongoing, in which agricultural projects have incorporated gender-related components or adapted their operations to allow for gender variables and engage issues that affect men and women differently. Excerpt from "Gender in Agriculture: Sourcebook": Gender equality is crucial...
Competence Development Programme Manual on Gender Mainstreaming, UNDP 2002 This Manual is based on the approach to gender mainstreaming competence development in the UN developed by Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues (OSAGI), the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW) within the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the Office of Human Resources Management (OHRM) in 1999 and...
Part I. The integration of a gender perspective into programming and policy-making – Gender Mainstreaming – has become a key priority of UNDP. Towards this end, 'Gender Mainstreaming in Practice: A Toolkit' integrates a gender perspective into the analysis of work, home, and public life in order to improve policy-making and programming. This publication reflects the work of...
PART II: Sectoral Briefs. The Gender Briefs in Part II of this toolkit are designed to highlight the main issues and links between gender and a specific policy area. They do not attempt to be comprehensive, but give sufficient insight into the main issues. They also contain case studies and illustrations of gender mainstreaming.