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.

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 4, 2015
Jeannette Gurung was one of the panelists discussing strategies to end poverty in all its forms and achieving gender equality, at the Responsible Business Forum on 4 November in Singapore. Jeannette emphasized that the SDG Goal 5 on women’s empowerment and gender equality is a great opportunity to change the narrative from women as vulnerable groups to agents of change. She...
In programs: The W+ Standard
October 30, 2015
WOCAN members, Core Associates, donors and partners attended the WARM meeting to celebrate and reflect on the achievements of WOCAN on 29 Oct in Bangkok. Jeannette presented the highlights from the five year report and her ideas for WOCAN’s future direction.. Kalpana Giri, WOCAN Core Associate, reflected on how being involved with WOCAN influenced her career and empowered her. Haddy Sey,...
In programs: The W+ Standard
January 4, 2016
This W+ pilot project, "Time Saving for Women Users of Biogas in Nepal", measured the time saved for 7200 rural Nepalese women who replaced their wood generated stoves with those generated by biogas, relieving them of the need to collect fuel wood from the forest and saved 2.2 hours per day. Watch the video below for more info: For more detail info...
In programs: The W+ Standard
September 30, 2015
The W+ Team, Jeannette Gurung, Liz Allen and Barun Gurung and members of Social Audit Network (SAN) met on 21- 24 September in Liverpool, UK to develop the W+ Auditor training course.
In programs: The W+ Standard
September 29, 2015
Meena Bilgi, WOCAN Core Associate, attended the Feminist Forum and United Nations Sustainable Development Summit from 21st to 28th September, 2015 in New York, USA. The Women’s Major Group hosted the Feminist Forum on September 24, the day before the Post-2015 Summit. Feminists and women’s rights activists came together to discuss, debate, motivate and inspire each other with ideas...
September 23, 2015
Article published on RIO+ Sustainable Development Centre on the Sustainable Development Centre’s website titled “Countdown day 13 – SDG 5: Gender equality”, highlighted the W+ Standard as one of the mechanism that can be applied to achieve gender equality. The article emphasizes that gender equality is more than promotion of empowerment and providing access to credit or...
August 20, 2015
Liz Allen, a W+ auditor from the Social Auditor Network of the U.K., shared her experience of verifying the application of the W+ Time method to the Indonesia Domestic Biogas Programme (IDPB) implemented by HIVOS during her visit to the site with WOCAN Core Associate Abidah Setyowati in the Lombok Tengah District . "For three of the women to whom we spoke, the low-tech biogas units had...
In programs: The W+ Standard
September 10, 2015
Gertrude Kenyagi Kabusimbi, founder of Support for Women in Agriculture and Environment (SWAGEN) and WOCAN member was awarded the 2015 Wangari Maathai ‘Forest Champions' Award at the XIV World Forest Congress. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to preserve, restore and sustainably manage forests and to raise awareness of the key role forests play in...
August 4, 2015
Institute of Environment and Water Management (IEWM) with support from WOCAN organized a meeting of the Women Leadership Circle in Agriculture & NRM (WLCAN) members with the Governor of theNyandarua Countyand County Assembly Clerk in Kenya on 27 July. There were 31 WLCAN members representing the three women’s groups: Mukiri Tene Women Group, Gathara-Mwihoko...
August 19, 2015
The IFPRI-led Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators (ASTI) program has launched a new website which has easy-to-use tools for viewing, comparing, and downloading key agricultural R&D information. These new tools can be used to: rank and compare the status and direction of agricultural research investment and capacity across countries in Africa south of the Sahara, West Asia...

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Aug
19
Dibya Gurung, WOCAN Core Associate, will facilitate a workshop to develop Gender Equity and Social Inclusion (GESI) strategy for The Himalayan Grassroots Women's Natural Resource Management Association (HIMAWANTI) Nepal from 19-23 August in Kathmandu, Nepal. Participants from the district chapters will be trained as resource persons to facilitate the gender responsive planning and programs....
Oct
7
WOCAN in collaboration with RECOFTC-The Center for People and Forests and The Forest Dialogueheld a 3-day Regional Dialogue on Women's Inclusion in Landscape Management in Asia, in Chiang Mai, Thailand from October 7-9, 2014. . The dialogue brought together 40 participants (33 women and seven men) from ten countries (eight from Asia), representing indigenous peoples, local communities...
Sep
2
SOCAP is a world-renowned conference series dedicated to increasing the flow of capital toward social good. SOCAP connects leading global innovators, investors, foundations, institutions, and social entrepreneurs to build this market at the intersection of money and meaning. SOCAP is the world’s most successful social enterprise and impact investing event, and has convened more than 5,000...
Oct
13
WOCAN, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) andWomen’s UN Report Network (WUNRN)is jointly organizing the side event on Women-Food Security- Peace & Conflict at the41st Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) on 14 October8:30 am - 9:30 am,Iran Room, FAO in Rome, Italy. The CFS is a multistakeholder program to solve...
Nov
17
In 1995, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action was adopted by the Fourth World Conference on Women, and subsequently endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1996. The Beijing Platform for Action constitutes a global framework for realising gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. Every five years, progress in implementation of the Beijing Platform for...
Aug
18
The ESCAP Committee on Social Development was established to address (a) implementation of internationally agreed commitments, including those agreed at the United Nations on social development, population, ageing, disability, youth and disadvantaged groups, gender equality and health; (b) policy options, strategies and good practices in social policy and protection; and (c) social policies and...
Jul
14
From 14- 18 July, Dr. Barun Gurung, WOCAN Lead Trainer and Dibya Gurung, WOCAN Core Associate will facilitate the training onGender Integrated Planning for Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative (KSLCDI) in Lalitpur, Nepal. The participants are ICIMOD staff and KSLCDI's Government and NGO partners from India and Nepal , representing MFSC, Tribhuwan University...
Jun
19
WOCAN is organizing the Women's Leadership Circle in Agriculture and NRM (WLCAN) on 19 June in Tshwane, South African. The participants are fromWomen Cooperatives and individual farmers of the City of Tshwane Municipality, City of Tshwane officials responsible for agriculture, Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries representatives and representatives of major supemarkets. The...
In programs:
Jun
21
Nisha Onta, WOCAN Knowledge Mangement Coordinator will be attending theThe Climate Investment Funds (CIF) 2014 Partnership Forum on 23 -24 June in Jamaica. The Forum is co-hosted with the Inter-American Development Bank, will bring together stakeholders from across the CIF community to learn and share lessons emerging from the CIF on how to foster partnerships and attract investment to...
Jun
16
Dibya Gurung, WOCAN Coordinator, is facilitating one of the four themes titled, “Tenure, Governance & Policy”, at the Sixth National Community Forestry Workshop - "Community Forestry for Sustainable Development and Prosperity" organized by Department of Forests, Community Forestry Division, MoFSC from 16-18 June in Kathmandu, Nepal. The theme includes sessions on...

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Abstract:While adaptation has received a fair amount ofattention in the climate change debate, barriers to adaptationare the focus of a more specific, recent discussion. Inthis discussion, such barriers are generally treated as havinga uniform, negative impact on all actors. However, weargue that the precise nature and impact of such barriers ondifferent...
In programs: The W+ Standard
This fourth issue of The Little Data Book on Gender presents sex-disaggregated data for more than 200countries in a straightforward, country-by-country reference on education,health, access to economic opportunities, and public life and decisionmaking. The report examined the driving forces behind differences in key aspectsof welfare between men and women—...
In programs: The W+ Standard
This paper summarizes methods to analyze gender-differentiated impacts of climate-smart agriculture (CSA) and aims to enhance the understanding of gender-related determinants of outcomes and facilitate the development of effective interventions that improve gender equality. The introduction explains how the impact of adaptation responses can vary depending on the sex of decision-maker and...
This study exploressome of the challenges and solutionsfor women’s access to justice in diverse legal systems. It shows that womenface structural and cultural barriersto accessing justice – insufficientknowledge of rights and remedies,illiteracy or poor literacy, and lackof resources or time to participate injustice processes....
In programs: The W+ Standard
The World Bank Group's new Gender Strategy delineates the support that the Bank Group will provide to client countries and companies to achieve greater gender equality as a key pathway toward lasting poverty reduction and shared security and prosperity. This strategy builds on past achievements and raises the bar on gender equality by focusing on how the Bank Group can move beyond...
by Nisha Onta, Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (WOCAN) On Wednesday 3 December, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Standing Committee on Finance presented a landmark assessment which highlighted that hundreds of billions of dollars of climate finance may now be flowing across the globe annually. However, what is lacking in this...
In programs: The W+ Standard
By Jeannette Gurung,Published inOutreach- A multi-stakeholder publication on climate change and sustainable development on Dec 8, Gender Day at COP21 Women’s agency and leadership play a critical and often unrecognised role in climate responses. This is reflected in their knowledge and practices in sustainable natural resources management, in responding to climate-related...
In programs: The W+ Standard
The objective of this paper is to identifyeffective ways to integrate and mainstreamgender equality into climate, energyand environment–related policies andprogrammes, learning from experienceson the ground in the Eastern and SouthernAfrica (ESA) region; and then propose ideasfor further work and research. Throughout,women are viewed not only...
Despite increasing evidence that households do not always function as one, policies regarding land and property rights are often formulated at the household level, assuming the primary adult male is the landowner. Because land policy reform has typically focused on changing household, rather than individual, rights to land, many of the data are collected at the household rather than the...
This learning brief synthesises lessons drawn from CARE’s Adaptation Learning Programme for Africa (ALP), which has been supporting vulnerable communities in sub-Saharan Africa to adapt to the impacts of climate change since 2010. It is based on evidence and practical experience in implementing community based adaptation (CBA), about gender dynamics and the ways in which CBA can increase...

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