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: 

July 21, 2014
In this feature article, Maria Melinda Ando, Programme Manager for Information andCommunications and the ARROW for Change Managing Editor of the Asian-Pacific Resource andResearch Centre for Women (ARROW) talks to Nanu Ghatani, a farmer and the Kavre DistrictChairperson of the Himalayan Grassroots Women’s Natural Resource Management Association(HIMAWANTI) Nepal. The...
July 11, 2014
Jeannette Gurung, WOCAN Executive Director, attended the Fourth Women Leadership Circles in Agriculture and NRM (WLCAN) meeting hosted by the City of Tshwane on 8 July in Pretoria, South Africa. The discussion focused on the need to access more information on issues regarding land tenure, land reform, supply change management and bidding for tenders. The women farmers specifically asked for...
August 1, 2014
Staff and partners of the Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative (KSCLDI)participated in the Gender Integrated Planning training workshop in Kathmandu, Nepal from 14-18 July. The training was facilitated by Dr. Barun Gurung, WOCAN Lead Trainer, and Dibya Gurung, WOCAN Core Associates and Trainer. There were 29 participants (16 women and 13 men) from Staff of KSLCDI...
July 17, 2014
The Nominating Committee of the Board of Directors is currently accepting nominations forthree positionson WOCAN's Board of Directors.All WOCAN members are invited to submit names for consideration by the Committee, by 31 August 2014...
In programs:
July 1, 2014
Nisha Onta, Knowledge Management Coordinator, attend the Climate Investment Fund (CIF) Stakeholder Day and the Partnership Forum which was co- hosted by the CIF and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) from 22-24 June in Montego Bay, Jamaica.Cecile Ndjebet, WOCAN Core Associte and President of REFACOF and Bridget Burns from WEDO also participated at the forum and represented the...
June 6, 2014
The Resource Alliance hosted the Women in Agriculture and NRM (WARM) meeting on 4 June in Bangkok, Thailand. 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 (WARM) (with men warmly welcomed). The 10 participants represented OXFAM,Agricultural and...
In programs: Innovation Incubator
June 18, 2014
Institute of Environment and Water Management (IEWM) with the support from WOCAN organized the two Women Leadership Circle in Agriculture & NRM (WLCAN) at Nyandarua Country in Kenya on 4-6 June. The forum aimed at providing training and awareness of different areas which women had requested during the previous meeting and increase their knowledge on ways of engaging the governments...
July 22, 2014
Kanchan Lama, WOCAN Board member, discussed future path for improving Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) strategies of the Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation (MoFSC) on the expert panel of the Sixth National Community Forestry Workshop in Nepal. The workshop was organized by Community Forestry Division of the Department of Forests, from 16-18 June in Kathmandu, Nepal. Kanchan...
June 23, 2014
Ms. Cllr Gogo Alphina Ndlovana, Councilor of the Women’s Progressive Movement, opened the WLCAN meeting emphasizing that the WLCAN meeting is an important platform to discuss ways by which the Council Resolution of spending 25% of the City of Tshwane Municipality budget which should be used for the empowerment of women can be implemented to best serve the target group. Enica Tshime, Deputy...


Presentation of WOCAN’s Reframing Leadership for Gender Equality for Agriculture and NRM Course. A promotional video was presented to 25 organizations in Pretoria, South Africa, by members of WOCAN’s Training Team Sikhalazo Dube, Sefora Masia, Colletah Chitsike and the Executive Director, Jeannette Gurung.
In programs:
WOCAN Coordinator Sefora Masia is organizing the first meeting of the South Africa Women’s Leadership Circle to be held on May 18, 2012 in Pretoria. The Executive Director, Jeannette Gurung , women farmers, WOCAN members and government and non-government representatives will attend.
In programs:
WOCAN Core Team members Annabell Waitu and Wangu Mutua will convene a Women’s Leadership Circle Inception meeting on May 14 in Nairobi, Kenya.
WOCAN Core Team Trainers Phanlany Khamphoui and Abidah Setyowati will conduct a gender analysis with PACT Cambodia staff in the Oddar Meanchey Project.
In programs:
Dibya Gurung, WOCAN Nepal Coordinator, will participate in the AWID International Forum, April 19 to 22, 2012 in Istanbul, Turkey. Dibya will share WOCAN's experience with Women's Leadership Circles in Nepal and elsewhere as a strategy for advocacy for food security in a panel with OXFAM on "Women Transforming the Food System and Advancing Their Rights: sharing practical...
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. WOCAN is one of the organizing members of the Women Major Group. It will be sending a delegation to Brazil. More information can be found at
WOCAN intern Asha Singh will be presenting on Gender and REDD+ at this CSW56 Learning Circle event of the GGCA. GGCA and NGO CSW Forum will co-convene this learning circle as an introduction to key gender and climate issues, building on the CSW56 theme of rural women. Specifically, this event seeks to introduce CSW56 delegates not necessarily familiar with gender and climate issues to its various...
In programs:
Addressing gender considerations in climate change adaptation and REDD+ efforts Cohosts IUCN, CIFOR While some work has already been conducted on the links between climate change adaptation and gender equality, recognition of gender aspects within a context of mitigation is still at an initial stage. Further work is necessary to raise awareness and acknowledgement of the relevance of linking...
In programs:


This report was developed as a part of the regional initiative, ‘Mainstreaming gender into forest policies of developing Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission (APFC) member countries,’ funded by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (FAO-RAP). The report tries to understand how gender perspectives are being integrated in...
This report serves as a final report for the three year IFAD funded project: ‘Capacity Building for Women’s Leadership in Farmer Producer Organizations in Asia and the Pacific Region Project’. The purpose of this project is to improve the performance and impact of IFAD projects with respect to gender mainstreaming and women’s empowerment by seeking to improve the enabling...
The Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM), produced by IUCN and the World Resources Institute, provides a flexible and affordable framework approach for countries to rapidly identify and analyse forest landscape restoration (FLR) potential and locate specific areas of opportunity at a national or sub-national level. Importantly, ROAM can provide vital support to...
Article on W+ Standard written by Jeannette Gurung and Rebecca Pearl-Martinez was published in the Cornerstone Journal of Sustainable Finance & Banking (JSFB) on February 2015. The article explains what is W+, discusses the importance of investing in women’s organizations and groups and why putting money in the hands of women is critical for development. The article also explains how...
In programs: The W+ Standard
This BRIDGE Cutting Edge Overview Report makes the case for a new, gender-aware understanding of food security, arguing that partial, apolitical and gender-blind diagnoses of the problem of food and nutrition insecurity is leading to insufficient policy responses and the failure to realise the right to food for all people. Showcasing effective and promising existing strategies, the report...
The report highlights the massive injustice suffered by working women in developing countries and shows how the global economic system relies on women's paid and unpaid work. In economic terms, ActionAid estimates that in developing countries cost to women of inequalities in pay and access to jobs is a staggering US$9 trillion each year. All over the world, women¹s work contributes to...
In programs: The W+ Standard
By Mary Galvin Abstract This Perspective draws together and reflects on primary research conducted by the author over the past decade regardingthe barriers to ‘real’ participation of community members and the obstacles to their holding officials and politicians accountablefor the delivery of rural water and sanitation services in South Africa. It argues that...
This white paper makes the case for a new and innovative option for a certification system that channels measureable and verifiable benefits directly to women and women’s organizations. The W+ Standard (W+) is designed to incentivize investments in women’s empowerment through a system that both measures results and puts money into the hands of women, which in addition to the benefits...
In programs: The W+ Standard
This policy brief highlightshow sensitivity to access to specific assets and constraintsexperienced by women (in particular local contexts) can helprealize their potential of becoming important actors in adaptinglocal food production to climatic stress. Citation: International Water Management Institute (IWMI). 2014. Promoting productive gendered spaces for adapting...