IFPRI, USAID, others launch Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index

A Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) to directly measure women’s levels in the agricultural sector has been launched.

The Index, launched February 27, 2012 is a partnership between the US 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.

According to a joint press release issued by the institutions and copied to ghanabusinessnews.com, the Index 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.

The partners explain that 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.”

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 release said.

The US government will use the Index for performance monitoring and impact evaluations across ‘Feed the Future’ focus countries, it noted.

The index is being piloted in three countries with diverse socioeconomic and cultural contexts—Bangladesh, Guatemala, and Uganda.

By Ekow Quandzie

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