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.



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April 18, 2012
At discussions during the 36th Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in 2010 on Managing vulnerability and risk to promote better food security and nutrition, the HLPE, the multi-disciplinary scientific advisory body to the CFS, was requested to undertake, among other things, a study and a review of existing assessments and initiatives on the effects of climate change on food...
In programs:
April 23, 2012
The civil society organizations, a total of 53 including WOCAN, signed up to IATP's (Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy) letter that was submitted to the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) through the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). The letter calls the attention of the HLPE to redirect its focus and give more realistic, effective and dynamic...
In programs:
May 1, 2012
The workshop included an orientation on gender analysis and 2 days field work in four different communities in the project sites. The study assessed the extent to which the project has incorporated a gender perspective, and provided recommendations and gender responsive action plans to ensure that the project activities and benefit sharing mechanisms are responsive to the needs of women and men...
In programs:
May 2, 2012
Dibya Gurung, WOCAN's Coordinator for Nepal participated in the AWID Forum and shared experiences on rural women's leadership and actively participated in different sessions related to access to and control over resources, climate change, land rights and food security. WOCAN together with OXFAM, Canada and GROW from Mexico organised a Breakout session on "Women Transforming the Food...
In programs:
February 7, 2012
L2L Dialogue combines women's concerns with social change and community mobilization. L2L Dialogue fulfills the promise of women's empowerment as a change model. Grassroots women's work to map and analyze gender and power relationships becomes the foundation of their strategies for reconfiguring these relationships. L2L Dialogue actively addresses both strategic and practical concerns...
In programs:
February 15, 2012
Funding is very limited and is restricted to those who meet the conditions stated in the application. Applications for participation in the 3rd Inter-sessional Rio+20 in New York, USA, from 26-27 of March must be received by 17:00 EST, 26 February 2012. Applications for participation in the 3rd Prepcom and the UNCSD2012 conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, must be received by 17:00 EST, 12...
In programs:
February 21, 2012
The award will honor an individual who is working closely and directly "in the field" or at the production or processing level with farmers, animal herders, fishers or others in rural communities, in any discipline or enterprise across the entire food production, processing, and distribution chain. To nominate a deserving individual, please fill this on-line form: http://www....
In programs:
January 11, 2012
WOCAN needs your vote to win an observer seat at the Forest Investment Program. The next steps in the selection process are as follows: Step 1: Your organization's application, along with the applications of several other candidates, will be included on the ballot for your region's seat on the committee or subcommittee. Step 2: On Tuesday, January 3, 2012, RESOLVE will open the voting...
In programs:
February 7, 2012
Everyone readily accepts the idea that having to pursue a career while still needing to raise children and manage household matters presents an obstacle to women, but most never think beyond this to recognise the implications. While women in Nepal are certainly gaining support this hardly gets to the root of the matter. Annina Lubbock from the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD...
In programs:
February 13, 2012
Jeannette Gurung was invited to speak to the Ministry of Forests, Indonesia and donors regarding Gender and REDD+ in Jakarta on Feb.10. She shared there WOCAN's plans to develop an initiative in Indonesia with women's groups managing forest resources. Several senior women officials within the Ministry showed keen interest in a partnership with WOCAN.
In programs:


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