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: 

USAID strives to promote gender equality by making gender issues central to the achievement of strategic plans and assistance objectives. The Office of Agriculture has led the development of a series of briefs on effective practices to help Mission staff better design, implement, monitor, and evaluate programs that fulfill this objective. All briefs draw heavily on programmatic examples and work...
This guide is designed to help USAID agriculture officers better incorporate gender issues into solicitations and their technical evaluation. It is not an exhaustive presentation of the myriad gender issues that may affect a given project. It is not intended to cover all questions an agriculture officer might have, nor is it intended to be applied verbatim as a template. The level of specificity...
The following bibliography includes 33 tools from the gender advocacy community that are among the best practices for gender integration for policymakers and programming practitioners. There are four sections: policy and programming gender information; policy-specific gender information; program-specific gender information; and, lastly, gender analysis, audit, and assessment tools.
This report, based on research into CAADP (Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme)-aligned plans in six countries, carried out for ActionAid by Overseas Development Institute and the Future Agricultures Consortium, finds that the initiative is succeeding in generating renewed attention and ambition for agriculture - a sector that was neglected and close to collapse only a few...
This Report points to four priority areas for policy going forward. First, reducing gender gaps in human capital—specifically those that address female mortality and education. Second, closing gender gaps in access to economic opportunities, earnings, and productivity. Third, shrinking gender differences in voice and agency within society. Fourth, limiting the reproduction of gender inequality...
We, 200 women and men, leaders of national, regional and international farmers’ organizations, civil society groups and social movements, and key academic and research institutions, from four continents of the world –Africa, Americas, Asia and Europe-, as well as representatives from national governments and inter-governmental organizations, have gathered in Bilbao, Spain, for the Family Farming... is an online forum which is designed to provide access to resources, tools and information which can help practitioners and other stakeholders mainstream gender into agricultural development. is dedicated to raising gender awareness and improving gender mainstreaming to promote improved gender equality and gender equity in development.
Why Women's Perspectives Matter: This resource draws the links between gender and climate change and lays out why women need to be at the center of the climate change debate and policymaking. A must-read for activists, academics and policymakers.
Author: United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (2008). It is a well-known prediction that women in the developing world will suffer the most from the effects of climate change. What needs equal emphasis is the fact that women also represent an immense source of potential and power to combat the increased disaster risks that climate change will bring. This publication seeks...
This paper, prepared for the UK Department for International Development’s (DFID) Equity and Rights Team, seeks to make the most of the available resources, pulling from them useful insights that could inform and strengthen future research on and interventions into gender and climate change. AWID's review of the report (by Rochelle Jones) can be found at: