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: 

 
June 25, 2015
Jeannette Gurung participated in the Responsible Business Forum on Food and Agriculture held from 23-24 June in Hanoi, Vietnam. The forum explored innovative and collaborative approaches to improving agricultural productivity and environmental sustainability across key commodity value chains. The participants who represented businesses, government and NGOs discussed how to increase agricultural...
In programs: The W+ Standard
June 12, 2015
Manuel Cocco, Principal, Climate Policy at South Pole Group, presented the W+ Standard at the UNFCCC in-session workshop on gender-responsive climate policy with a focus on mitigation action and technology development and transfer, on 9 June in Bonn, Germany. Manual presented the W+ Standard as an example of how results-based finance can help in mainstreaming gender into development and climate...
In programs: The W+ Standard
June 19, 2015
WOCAN hosted the Women in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (WARM) meeting on 18 June in Bangkok. WARM is an informal gathering initiated by WOCAN to share, learn and build a network of individuals who are interested in issues related to Women in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (with men warmly welcomed). The 12 participants (11 women and 1 man) represented UN Agencies...
In programs: Innovation Incubator
June 15, 2015
Jeannette Gurung presented the W+ Standard at the“Partnering for Sustainability: Scaling Partnerships for Scaled Impact” workshop, organized byAsia Clean InnovationsandPublic Affairs Asia’s Sharing Value Asia initiative, held from 11 to 12 June in Bangkok. This workshop was designed to collectively assemble business leaders, Civil Society...
June 5, 2015
Jeannette Gurung was one of the panelist on the session titled "How can women grab opportunities in agriculture?" during the Australia Mekong NGO Engagement Platform (AMNEP) Forum on Inclusive Business- Mekong Women in Agricultural Value Chains. The Forum was jointly organized by the Australian Embassy and CSR Asia on 2-3 June in Bangkok, Thailand. The session focused on how to use...
In programs: The W+ Standard
June 2, 2015
A just and gender-responsive climate agreement can take different forms, but fundamentally it will; respect and promote human rights and gender equality: ensure sustainable development and environmental integrity; require fair, equitable, ambitious and binding mitigation commitments in line with the principles of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR); call for urgent and prioritized...
May 29, 2015
Jeannette Gurung attended the Regional Workshop Partners in Rights organized by the Swedish Embassy on 27-28 May in Bangkok, Thailand. The workshop explored the development of meaningful partnerships and relations between businesses, civil society organizations (CSOs) and government, through highlighting the linkages between environmental sustainability, human rights and gender equality. An...
May 29, 2015
Meena Bilgi, WOCAN Core Associate and Nisha Onta, Knowledge Management Coordinator attend the Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development 2015: “Strengthening integration, implementation and review for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific” held on 21-22 May in Bangkok, Thailand. The Forum was convened by UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)...
May 29, 2015
Meena Bilgi, WOCAN Core Associate, attended the First Forum of Ministers and Environment Authorities of Asia Pacific as one of the observers in 19-20 May in Bangkok, Thailand. The forum was organized by UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and it was attended by over 180 participants, including 137 high-level representatives of delegations from 33 countries. The meeting included sessions on: the post-...
May 26, 2015
Meena Bilgi, WOCAN Core Associate and Nisha Onta, Knowledge Management Coordinator attended the Asia-Pacific Civil Society Forum on Sustainable Development held on 16-18 May in Bangkok, Thailand. This forum was convened by the United Nations Economic and Social Commissions for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in collaboration with the Asia Pacific...

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Apr
9
On 10 April, Kanchan Lama, WOCAN Board Member, is the discussant for the panel on "Scaling up partnerships opportunities in food and nutritional security and marine resources" during the UN Gender Assembly and Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) joint thematic debate/forum on partnerships, held in United Nations Headquarters in New York, USA. The primary objective of the joint event is...
Apr
22
On 22 April, Jeannette will attend the conference,WOMEN LEADERS AND THE NEW ASIAN CENTURY: Insights from the Government, Private Sector, and Non-Profits, organized by Microsoft Thailand and Oxfam in Bangkok, Thailand.This event is part of a series of conversations with leaders across sectors from Asia. The objective is to learn from experienced practitioners, draw lessons and exchange...
Apr
24
On 24-30 April, Kanchan Lama, WOCAN Board Member, will attend the8th conference on community-based adaptation to climate change, in Kathmandu, Nepal. CBA8 aims to: • Bring together different stakeholders and practitioners to share and discuss knowledge of CBA financing, planning and best practice • Enhance the capacity of the most vulnerable groups and people, improve...
Apr
4
On 4 April, Dibya Gurung, WOCAN Nepal Cooridator, will facilitate the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) Learning Alliance Workshop organized with IFAD Nepal in Kathmandu, Nepal. The objectives of the workshopare to share the leanings of IFAD/WOCAN grant project "Capacity Building for Women's Leadership in Farmer Producer Organizations in the Asia and the Pacific Region...
Mar
26
On 26-27 March, USAID LEAF Program, WOCAN & UNREDD organizes the Asia Pacific Workshop on Women’s Inclusion for Sustainable Forests and Climate: What works? in Bangkok, Thailand. This workshop is part of the Joint Initiative between WOCAN, LEAF and UN-REDD established to identify practical entry points for women’s inclusion and gender perspectives in REDD+ in the Asia-...
Mar
24
On 24 March, Jeannette will attend the Center for Sustainable RuralDevelopment's(SRD)Annual Donor Meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam. The objective of the meeting isto facilitate interaction and sharing between SRD and its donors, inorder to strengthen the trust and long term strategic partnership. SRDis a leading Vietnamese non-government organization; supporting poor...
Mar
6
On 6 March 2pm GMT, WOCAN will join the#AskElders: Twitter Q&A on women's rights.To mark International Women’s Day 2014, Jimmy Carter, Hina Jilani and Desmond Tutu will answer questions in The Elders’ first ever live Twitter chat.We have seen huge progress towards gender equality in the Elders’ lifetimes; yet there is no country where women and men...
In programs: The W+ Standard
Mar
8
On March 7,10:45 am EST/3:45 pm GMT, WOCAN will join the exclusive Google+ Hangout on women leaders driving social change. The speakers are: Monique Villa, CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation; Kathy Calvin, CEO of the United Nations Foundation; Christy Turlington, Founder, Every Mother Counts. Please joing and ask your questions via #IWDleaders on Twitter, or use the...
Mar
7
On 7 March, WOCAN will attend theexpert dialogue on : “Equality for Women is Progress for All: a Reflection on the Millennium Development Goals and a Post-2015 Development Framework, Towards the Achievement of Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls in Asia and the Pacific”, organized by UN Women incommemoration of International Women’s Day 2014 in...
Mar
16
On 16-19 March, Jeannette will be attending thefield dialogue on Food, Fuel, Fiber and Forests (4Fs) in Indonesia, hosted by The Forests Dialogue (TFD) in partnership withthe Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Daemeter and the University of Palangkaraya (UNPAK).TFD’s initiative on 4Fs aims to bridge the gap among forest, agriculture and other land use...

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Investing in women and girls is one of the highest return opportunities available in thedeveloping world, as a wide range of economic research shows. This study by Global Markets Institute demonstrates that bringing more women into the labor force can significantly boost percapita income and GDP growth. Research has also shown that women’s higherpropensity to use their...
In programs: The W+ Standard
This McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) report, The power of parity: How advancing women’s equality can add $12 trillion to global growth,explores the economic potential available if the global gender gap wereto be closed. The research finds that, in a full-potential scenario in which women playan identical role in labor markets to men’s, as much as $28 trillion, or 26...
In programs: The W+ Standard
This paper offers a conceptual framework for understanding the gendered pathways through which asset accumulation occurs, including attention to not only men’s and women’s assets but also those they share in joint control and ownership. Unlike previous frameworks, this model depicts the gendered dimensions of each component of the pathway in recognition of the evidence that men and...
In programs: The W+ Standard
This article uses a mixed-methods approach to analyse the impact of an integrated agriculture and nutrition programme in Burkina Faso on women’s and men’s assets, and norms regarding ownership, use andcontrol of assets. The authors use a cluster-randomised controlled trial to determine whether productive asset transfers andincreased income-generating opportunities for...
In programs: The W+ Standard
This brief is a contribution to the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention onClimate Change (COP21). It provides an overview of how well members of the OECD Development AssistanceCommittee (DAC)are integrating gender equality into their bilateral aid to climate change. KEY FINDINGS In 2013, 29% of DAC members’ bilateral aid to...
This report from Food Tank, CARE International and the CGIAR Research program on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security (CCAFS) demonstrates how inequality determines who eats first and who eats worst, and how this shapes people’s ability to adapt to climate change. The report argues that solutions around food production are not enough, and demands more dialogue and action to...
In programs: The W+ Standard
This study was commissioned by the UNDP Global Policy Centre on Resilient Ecosystems and Desertification (GPCNairobi) and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), in order to explore issues of dryland women’s resilience. It is a series of reports on dryland women which includes Land Rights (Thematic Paper 1), Governance (Thematic Paper 2) and Resilience (Thematic Paper 3)....
In programs: The W+ Standard
This study was commissioned by the UNDP Global Policy Centre on Resilient Ecosystems and Desertification (GPCNairobi)and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), in order to explore issues of dryland women’sland rights. It is a series of reports on dryland women which includes Land Rights (Thematic Paper 1), Governance(Thematic Paper 2) and Resilience (Thematic...
In programs: The W+ Standard

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