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The Women's Empowerment in Agriculture Index


Women play a critical role in agricultural growth in developing countries, yet they face persistent obstacles and economic constraints. The Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index makes empowerment a solid and quantifiable concept Feed the Future and partners can work toward.

The Women's Empowerment in Agriculture Index (or WEAI) is the first-ever measure to directly capture women's empowerment and inclusion levels in the agricultural sector.

Developed by USAID, the International Food Policy Research Institute, and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, this innovative tool tracks women’s engagement in agriculture in five areas:

  • Production
  • Resources
  • Income
  • Leadership
  • Time use

Unlike any other tool, it also measures women’s empowerment relative to men within their households, providing a more robust understanding of gender dynamics within households and communities. 

Collecting and Using the Data

Feed the Future uses the index to monitor program performance and track changes in women's empowerment that occur as a direct or indirect result of Feed the Future interventions. The initiative also uses the index for impact evaluations to examine the effectiveness of different approaches and how they impact women and men.

Data for the WEAI will be collected every two or three years in all 19 Feed the Future focus countries. Baselines were collected in 2011 and 2012. Check out the new WEAI baseline report for a comprehensive analysis of 13 countries.

Women's Empowerment in Agriculture Index Resources

Feed the Future and its partners piloted the WEAI in three countries: Bangladesh, Guatemala and Uganda.