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: 

 
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...
August 14, 2015
Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 Presents a Bold Vision for Women and Girls Advocates Gear Up for Work to Come UNITED NATIONS—The Women’s Major Group, made up of more than 600 women’s organizations and networks from around the world, recognizes the historic agenda for global sustainable development that 193 governments agreed to on Sunday. At the center of this broad...
In programs:
July 22, 2015
The W+ Standard measured time savings generated by the Indonesia Domestic Biogas Programme (IDPB) for 4500 women in two selected provinces: East Java and West Nusa Tenggara. The IDBP is implemented by Hivos, in collaboration with the Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, and the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV). Hivos has assisted more than 13,000 households to install...
In programs: The W+ Standard
July 29, 2015
Institute of Environment and Water Management (IEWM) with the support from WOCAN organized the Women Leadership Circle in Agriculture & NRM (WLCAN) at Nyandarua County in Kenya on 17 July. The objectives of the forum To strengthen women farmers organizing and capacity to engage with the county governments and other professionals on issues of interests to them To enhance...
July 15, 2015
Jeannette Gurung attended the tenth meeting of the Board of the Green Climate Fund which was held from 6 to 9 July in Songdo, Republic of Korea. She joined Liane Schalatek of The Heinrich Boell Foundation and other civil society representatives to observe the Board’s discussions on projects and programs.The Board also discussed growing the Fund’s network of accredited entities,...
July 6, 2015
Nisha Onta, Knowledge Management Coordinator, shared publications by WOCAN and our partners onGender and Climate Change at the information booth during the Regional Forum on Climate Change (RFCC) - Low Carbon and Climate Resilient Societies: Bridging Science, Practice and Policy. The Forum was organized by the Asian Institute of Technology in collaboration with the French Ministry of...

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Jun
10
IFAD's Gender Desk and Environment and Climate Division (ECD) is hosting a talk with Dr Jeannette Gurung, Executive Director of Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (WOCAN) and Annina Lubbock to discusse the W+ Standard and the relevance and opportunities for IFAD.
In programs: The W+ Standard
May
14
A new World Bank report, Voice and Agency: Empowering Women and Girls for Shared Prosperity, distills vast data and hundreds of studies to cast important new light on the constraints women and girls face worldwide, from epidemic gender-based violence to biased laws and norms that prevent them from making decisions about their own lives. These constraints are not only fundamentally unjust but...
In programs: The W+ Standard
May
15
On 15-17 May, Maria Lee, WOCAN Program Coordinator, will attend the Asia-Pacific Civil Society Forum on Sustainable Development in Bangkok, Thailand. The objectives of the forum are: Inform and capacitate civil society participants on sustainable development at the global and regional levels, and onthe opportunities and modalities for engaging these processes; Dialogue...
May
12
On 12 May, Jeannette will be speaking about WOCAN and the W+ Standard at a talk program organized by World Bank's Gender and Rural Development Thematic Group (GENRD)in Washington, DC, USA.The session is chaired by Eija Pehu,Science Adviser and Gender Anchor, AES, World Bank and W+ Advisory Council Member. The discussants are Klas Sander, Senior Environmental Economist...
In programs: The W+ Standard
May
19
On 19-23 May, Maris Gavino, WOCAN Liason, will participatein the negotiations of the Draft 1 CFS Principles for Responsbile Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (RAI) in FAO, Rome.The principles that will be agreed on will be presented for adoption during the 41st Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in October 2014.
May
13
On 13-15 May, Jeannette will be one of the discussant at the session on "Filling the Gaps- Early efforts to address the gender gap in REDD+ programming" during the Gender & REDD+ Technical Workshop in Washington, DC, organized by IUCN, USAID and in collaboration withWEDO, the UN-REDD programme and REDD+ SES. The session is moderated byAndre Mershon (USAID), and the other...
Apr
27
On 28-29 April, Maris Gavino, WOCAN Liaison, will participate in the Civil Society Mechanism (CSM) discussions on the Civil Society Maximum Document that will be part of the process of developing the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (RAI). The CSM will take place preceding the CFS Open Ended Working Group meeting on RAI...
Jun
9
On 9-10 July, Jeannette will be attending thePolicy Advisory Committee of the FAO Project "Incentives for Ecosystem Services in Agriculture" in Rome, Italy.The role of the members of the Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) is to advise the project on identifying innovative policy-relevant issues, allowing for a supportive and enabling policy framework for ecosystem services...
Jun
30
On 30 June to 1 July, Maris Gavino, WOCAN Liason in Rome, will attend thethe eleventh conference "Policies against Hunger" which will take place at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin.The conference will seek to contribute to promoting the “Principles for responsible agricultural investments”, due to be adopted by the Committee on World Food Security Plenary in...
Apr
29
Root Capital invites you for a webinar on April 29 at 1:30 PM EST.The webinar will provide a sneak peek of Root Capital’s soon-to-be-released issue brief:Applying a gender lens to agriculture: Farmers, leaders, and hidden influencers.The issue brief lays out Root Capital’s experience applyinga gender lens to its core work of providing loans and financial...
In programs: The W+ Standard

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While there is mounting evidence on the linkbetween promoting women’s equality and economic empowerment and other development outcomes,such as sustainable agricultural and economic growth,gender issues are being inadequately reflected inagricultural policy strategies and programs. At thesame time, a changing climate means that there isa shrinking window...
In programs: The W+ Standard
This is the report of the Expert Group Meeting (EGM) organized byUN Women, the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat (UN DESA), and the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC secretariat) from 14 – 16 October 2015, in Bonn, Germany. The EGM brought together representatives from existing climate finance and...
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...

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