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: 

 
“From Dialogue to Action- The Empowerment of Rural Women in Agriculture" Luncheon Discussion, June 29, 2010. Final Report.
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Wenews Article by Rebecca Harshbarger on the status of female farmers amidst the current global food crisis. The article tracks the evolution of involving female farmers in activities to combat food insecurity and hunger.
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The following documents the process and results of a series of workshops conducted in 2005 to facilitate farmer organization input to the development of the CAADP process. While five years have passed since the workshops, the recent acceleration of the CAADP process, particularly in the ECOWAS countries, is bringing a renewed focus at the regional and global levels to CAADP.
The present report, submitted pursuant to General Assembly resolution 62/136, reviews the activities undertaken by Member States and United Nations entities to empower rural women and improve their situation and contains recommendations for consideration by the Assembly.
Globalisation impacts on local land markets and land-use; land transaction costs affect food prices; and the combined effect is particularly damaging to women who produce food and who put food on the table for their families. This paper examines three issues: what is attracting investors and market speculators into the farm and land sectors? What is at stake for small farmers - and especially...
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted the vital contributions of rural women to development, while calling for their enjoyment of a full range of rights from property ownership and inheritance, to health and education. “Rural women do most of the agricultural work in developing countries, but endure the worst working conditions, with low pay and little or no social protection,” Mr. Ban noted...
Published by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the International Labour Office (ILO). This report reflects the latest thinking on the gender dimensions of rural poverty. The cornerstone of its analysis is the United Nation’s Decent Work Agenda, which calls for creating better jobs for both women and...

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