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: 

October 16, 2015
Jeannette Gurung attended the Expert Group Meeting on Gender and Climate Policy and Action to discuss the current status, identify good practices and practical approaches to the implementation of gender-related mandates and decisions in UNFCCC processes and mechanisms. The meeting was organized by theUN-Women, UN DESA and the UNFCCC secretariat from 14 - 16 Oct., in Bonn, Germany....
October 12, 2015
Nisha Onta, Knowledge Management Coordinator, and Sunitha Bisan, WOCAN Core Associate, presented the W+ Standard at the NGO marketplace during the CSR Asia Summit on 7-8 October in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Summit focused on sustainable business strategies which bring value to businesses, communities and society. 429 delegates from across 28 countries attended the Summit representing businesses...
In programs: The W+ Standard
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...


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...
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...
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
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
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...
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
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.
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...
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...
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...


Land statistics disaggregated by sex are useful for showcasing the disparities in land rights between women and men. They also provide a sense of women’s economic empowerment in agriculture. Unfortunately, land statistics are not always used properly. This infographic tries tounderstand and interpret better the different land statistics available in FAO’s Gender and Land Rights...
This working paper synthesizes knowledge within CGIAR on adaptation measures inagricultural systems, for the benefit of parties and observers preparing submissions to theUNFCCC SBSTA. Experience from CGIAR and partners indicate that adaptation measurescovering policy, technological, financial, institutional, and research interventions are beingtested and applied in...
The initial purpose of this assessment was to identify good practices, lessons learned and key entry points for increasing women‘s participation in and benefit from REDD+ activities, as well as opportunities to advance gender equality through this sector. This study aimed to provide recommendations on how future REDD+ initiatives in Asia, including USAID/RDMA‘s (Regional Development...
The Women and Gender Constituency published the ‘Gender-Just Solutions’ publication, highlighting over 30 technical, non-technical and transformative solutions for climate action. The Gender Just Climate Solutions shown in this publication are aimed at making gender responsive and equitable solutions visible and central to just climate action. Gender Just Climate Solutions...
In programs: The W+ Standard
This toolkit is an initiative of the UNDP Gender Team and the UNDP–UNEP Global Support Programme. It is designedto strengthen the capacity of national government staff and assist them in integrating gender equality into thedevelopment of National Communications (NCs). It is recognized that NC reporting processes can be a meaningfulentry point for training, awareness-...
In programs: The W+ Standard
This paper introduces a model of gender inequality and economic growth that focuses on thedetermination of women’s time allocation among market production, home production, child rearing,and child education. The theoretical model is based on Agénor (2012), but differs in several importantdimensions. The model is calibrated using microlevel data of Asian economies,...
In programs: The W+ Standard
This working paper aims to help companies build effective strategies in women's economic empowerment by applying a holistic and integrated approach: "Holistic" in considering the broader conditions necessary for women's advancement and "integrated" in leveraging the full set of business assets a company can deploy. This apprach builds on growing body of evidence...
In programs: The W+ Standard
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