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.



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August 9, 2012
Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (WOCAN) has published a scoping study on Women’s Leadership in Agriculture Sector in Lao PDR. This study is in support of WOCAN-IFAD project, “Capacity Building for Women’s Leadership in Farmers Producer Organization in Asia and the Pacific Region.” The scoping study was conducted by...
In programs:
August 7, 2012
WOCAN and IEWM hosted the WLC on 31st July 2012 from 4pm to 7pm at the East African Wildlife Society Boardroom. The meeting was attended by 13 women leaders from different organisations engaged in natural resource management in Kenya. The meeting brought together women from different organisations who felt the need for women to work together towards reaching a common goal in agriculture and...
In programs:
July 27, 2012
A national seminar on Gender, Forestry, and REDD+ was held on 27 July, 2012 at the Himawari Hotel in Phnom Penh. The seminar was initiated by Pact and organized in collaboration with WOCAN (Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources) and the Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC). The purpose of the seminar was to draw attention to the issues of gender in the forestry...
In programs:
July 31, 2012
An action research on Gender, Forest and REDD+SES was conducted in Nepal jointly by the REDD-Forestry and Climate Change Cell, WEDO and WOCAN with the support from the REDD+ Social and Environmental Standards (SES) Secretariat. The main objectives of the action research were to identify gender considerations that are relevant for the Nepal REDD+ Program, understand the importance of including a...
In programs:
July 31, 2012
WOCAN Core Associate and Lead Trainer Dr. Barun Gurung conducted a training for ICRAF (World Agroforestry Center) on Integrating Gender into the R & D Cycle and the Organization in Kunming, China on May 28- June 3, 2012 for 17 participants from ICRAF and the Kunming Institute of Botany (KIB). The course presented three modules: the first focused on creating...
July 23, 2012
Abidah Setyowati of WOCAN presented a paper during International Workshop in Gender and Forest Tenure in Asia and Collective Forest Tenure Reform held in Beijing, China on July 21, 2012. The event was a part of Right and Resources Institute’s research report launching entitled “The Challenges of Securing Women’s Secure Tenure and Leadership for Forest Management: the Asian...
In programs:
July 18, 2012
WOCAN Liaison officer in Washington DC, Lamia El-Fattal Masadiah, was recently elected as a member of the Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA) Steering Committee, representing WOCAN for a period of two years. She attended her first GGCA Steering Committee meeting in New York City, on July 16, 2012. The GGCA ( works to ensure that climate change...
July 16, 2012
Himalayan Climate Initiative (HCI), in association with Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources (WOCAN) and Kopila Nepal supported by Population Action International organized the screening of the short documentary ‘Weathering Change’, and a consultation workshop on Gender and Climate Change in Pokhara on 6th July 2012 .The program was attended by ...
July 16, 2012
Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (WOCAN)has published the first of the new case study seriesentitled An Assessment of Gender and Women’sExclusion in REDD+ in Nepal. This assessment was conducted byWOCANand the Himalayan Grassroots Women’s Natural Resource Management Association (HIMAWANTI)Nepalin...
June 1, 2012
WOCAN orgnized the inception meeting for WLC in South africa on 28 May, 2012. The main purpose of the meeting was to convene a small team to for a brainstorming session on how the Women’s Leadership Circles could be established in South Africa.


In spite of the fact that an increasing number of experiences are highlighting the sustainable manner in which women use biological diversity, it is often true that women do so without equitable participation in the access and control of such resources. There is a tendency to ignore the natural spaces predominantly used by women in favor of those used by men, and to undervalue non-commercial (...
A pesar de que un mayor número de experiencias están destacando la manera sostenible en que las mujeres utilizan la diversidad biológica, también es verdad que las mujeres asumen esta responsabilidad sin participar de forma equitativa en el acceso y control de los recursos. Hay una tendencia a ignorar los espacios de las mujeres en favor de los utilizados por los...
Agricultural systems, and the roles, rights and responsibilities of men and women who farm, differ according to geographic and cultural context. Ester Boserup’s classic study of 1970 made a great contribution to understanding women’s role in development by recognizing women as important economic actors. Boserup was the first to define female farming systems (shifting cultivation and...
Los sistemas agrícolas, y los roles, derechos y responsabilidades de los hombres y las mujeres campesinas(os), difi eren de acuerdo a los contextos culturales y geográfi cos. El reconocido estudio de Ester Boserup en 1970, hizo un aporte importante al visibilizar el papel que las mujeres desempeñan en el desarrollo, al reconocer a las mismas como importantes actores econ...
This Action Aid paper finds that rural women are not only among those most vulnerable to food shortages, but more importantly, they are the driving force behind African agriculture. Traditional forms of food aid have largely failed to recognise and enhance the productive capacity of women, and this in turn means that food aid has been ineffective in contributing to lasting solutions to hunger....
This material was produced from a public policy institute for women in agriculture in Kentucky funded with a Southern SARE Sustainable Community Innovation Program grant.
IUCN power point presentation in French
About three quarters of the world’s poor live in rural areas. Among those, women constitute a particularly vulnerable, yet crucially important group for social and economic development. Investing in rural women is thus not only a moral imperative; it can also be a promising strategy to effectively fight poverty and hunger.
Peoples`s Food Sovereignity now! Declaration from Social Movements/NGOs/CSOs Parallel Forum to the World Food Summit on Food Security (Rome, November 13-17, 2009)
This Poverty in Focus reviews the experience of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to date and asks what we can do to accelerate MDG progress in the years 2010–2015 and beyond. These debates acquire greater significance as we enter 2010 and embark on the discussions leading up to and beyond the UN review of the MDGs. The global economic crisis has changed the context within which MDG...