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About the W+ Standard

What is the W+ Standard?

The W+TM 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. 

Read the W+ Standard White Paper

Why the W+ Standard?

When you drink a cup of coffee, you’re likely enjoying coffee beans that were grown and harvested by women farmers from rural areas. No matter the price you pay for your latte, relatively few dollars make it back to these women who are the providers of food, education and healthcare for their families and communities. 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.

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. At this time, certification schemes and standards do not quantify benefits or outcomes to women of project communities; many refer only to gender and women in relation to their workplaces or social safeguards. The W+ aims for a more pro-active approach to tackle the issue, by incentivizing projects and companies to deliver new resources to women of affected communities, to address both their practical and strategic interests.

The W+ offers a unique mechanism to value women’s contributions to unpaid care work, climate change mitigation and development initiatives and spur their empowerment by sharing revenues from the sales of W+ units with women and their groups.

Related Documents

Read the W+ Brochure

How W+ Standard works

The W+ Program Proposal

View the W+ Presentation

Read the W+ Introduction

Read the W+ Monitoring and Evaluation System


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