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Groundbreaking Index Launched to Empower Women and Fight Hunger

Read the full press release on the USAID website

A significant new breakthrough in the measurement of women’s empowerment in developing countries launched today. The “Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index” (WEAI) is the first measure to directly capture women’s empowerment and inclusion levels in the agricultural sector.

The WEAI focuses on five areas: decisions over agricultural production, power over productive resources such as land and livestock, decisions over income, leadership in the community, and time use. Women are considered to be empowered if they have adequate achievements in four of the five areas. The Index also takes into consideration the empowerment of women compared with men in the same household, based on asking women and men the same survey questions.

The Index is a partnership between the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) of Oxford University. The index focuses on women because they play a critical role in agricultural growth in developing countries yet face persistent obstacles and economic constraints, limiting further inclusion in the sector.

For more on the WEAI, check out our “Release of the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index” article.

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