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 16, 2012
Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (WOCAN)has published the first of the new case study seriesentitled An Assessment of Gender and Women’sExclusion in REDD+ in Nepal. This assessment was conducted byWOCANand the Himalayan Grassroots Women’s Natural Resource Management Association (HIMAWANTI)Nepalin...
June 1, 2012
WOCAN orgnized the inception meeting for WLC in South africa on 28 May, 2012. The main purpose of the meeting was to convene a small team to for a brainstorming session on how the Women’s Leadership Circles could be established in South Africa.
June 29, 2012
Jeannette Gurung was on the panel of the US Agency for International Development, on Women and Natural Resources with USAID's Deputy Administrator, Don Steinburg on Thursday, June 21, 2012, in the US Center, at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She discussed the current status of women in natural resources (both as a result of deterioration of natural resources and women’s role in natural...
June 26, 2012
WOCAN organized a side event in the United Nation Conference on Sustainable Development or mostly known as Rio+20 Conference in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil on 17th June, 2012. The event entitled “Women’s Leadership in a Green Economy: Valuing Women’s Contribution” was attended by 30 participants. Five speakers delivered presentations highlighting the importance of women’s...
June 26, 2012
Rio de Janeiro: The Women’s Major Group (WMG) at Rio+20, representing 200 civil society women’s organizations from all around the world, released a final statement where they expressed that they are greatly disappointmented and seriously outraged by the results of the “official” deliberations at the United Nations’ Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as...
June 18, 2012
On 22nd May 2012, inception meeting of WOCAN’s Women’s Leadership Circle (WLC) Kenya was held in Nairobi. It was attended by 20 representatives comprising of farmers, government official and Civil Society practitioners. The purpose of the inception meeting was to bring together key members of the Kenyan community of farmers and professionals to brainstorm on ways that this WLC can be...
June 13, 2012
WOCAN conducted its 2nd WLC meeting on 1 June, 2012 in Kathmandu Nepal. 29 women representing high level government official, grassroots women leaders and their networks and I/NGOs participated in this meeting. The main focus of the meeting was discussion on the gender gaps in Nepal’s REDD+ policy development processes. The meeting provided good opportunity for both the grassroots and...
June 11, 2012
On May 17, the WOCAN South Africa Core Team of Trainers (Colletah Chitsike, Sefora Masia, Unathi Kolanisi, and Sikhalazo Dube) led by WOCAN Executive Director Jeannette Gurung organized the meeting to present WOCAN’s Leadership course: Reframing Leadership for Women and Men for Gender Equality in Agriculture and Natural Resources Management (NRM), to potential clients in the agriculture,...
May 28, 2012
The only statement delivered by the Civil Society on the agenda item entitled “Perspectives of Land and Water Resources in a Changing Climate” was by WOCAN. It was timely because the background document and the ensuing discussions hardly made mention of women and their importance in agricultural sustainability under conditions of changing climate. Subsequently, the Report...
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:


This material was produced from a public policy institute for women in agriculture in Kentucky funded with a Southern SARE Sustainable Community Innovation Program grant.
IUCN power point presentation in French
About three quarters of the world’s poor live in rural areas. Among those, women constitute a particularly vulnerable, yet crucially important group for social and economic development. Investing in rural women is thus not only a moral imperative; it can also be a promising strategy to effectively fight poverty and hunger.
Peoples`s Food Sovereignity now! Declaration from Social Movements/NGOs/CSOs Parallel Forum to the World Food Summit on Food Security (Rome, November 13-17, 2009)
This Poverty in Focus reviews the experience of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to date and asks what we can do to accelerate MDG progress in the years 2010–2015 and beyond. These debates acquire greater significance as we enter 2010 and embark on the discussions leading up to and beyond the UN review of the MDGs. The global economic crisis has changed the context within which MDG...
World Bank Agriculture for Development Policy Brief. The design of many development policies continues to assume wrongly that farmers and rural workers are men. The important role of women in agriculture in many parts of the world calls for urgent attention to gender-specific constraints in agricultural production and marketing. Mainstreaming gender in agricultural policies and programs is...
A policy brief from Heifer International. Heifer International, as an organization that has benefited from partnership and collaboration, strongly believes in the need to create space for multi-stakeholders role in achieving MDGs. The role of the resource poor women and men should be recognized and their priorities should be the center point of MDG interventions.
Gender-sensitive measurements are critical for building the case for taking gender (in)equality seriously, for enabling better planning and actions by gender and non-gender specialists, and for holding institutions accountable to their commitments on gender equality.
The key question addressed in this paper is: How does what gender-responsive budget (GRB) initiatives have done in practice compare with the claims and expectations about what they can achieve? In asking this question, the paper does not aim to detract from what has been achieved. Instead, it attempts to bring some realism into the discussion, planning and assessment of these initiatives. The...
This paper is based on the field case studies of the individual lives of three women who were trained as two-wheel tractor operators and who thus have taken up, or have attempted to take up, a new gender role: that of plowing.