The Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI), launched by IFPRI, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), and USAID's Feed the Future in February 2012, is the first comprehensive and standardized measure to directly measure capture women’s empowerment and inclusion in the agricultural sector. The WEAI is an innovative tool composed of two sub-indices: one measures women’s empowerment across five domains in agriculture, and the other measures gender parity in empowerment within the household. The five domains include (1) decisions about agricultural production; (2) access to and decision-making power over productive resources; (3) control over use of income; (4) leadership in the community; and (5) time use. The tool also measures women’s empowerment relative to men within their households.
Since the original WEAI release, multiple versions of the WEAI have been developed. The Abbreviated WEAI (A-WEAI) is a shorter version of the original that can be used in population-based surveys to measure women’s empowerment. The Project WEAI (Pro-WEAI) instrument seeks to measure women’s empowerment within project-specific contexts, and includes optional modules tailored to livestock and/or nutrition and health programs. Pro-WEAI development also drew on qualitative methods to enhance understanding of women’s empowerment in specific social and cultural contexts. The WEAI for Value Chains (WEAI4VC), still under development, is intended to measure empowerment across agricultural value chains.
To access all WEAI-related materials – research instruments, protocols, publications, and more – visit the WEAI Resource Center website.