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Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI): Lessons for Water by Ruth Meinzen-Dick
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Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI): Lessons for Water by Ruth Meinzen-Dick


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Presentation made by Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Senior Research Fellow at IFPRI, World Water Week,August 26-31, 2012, Stockholm, Sweden

Presentation made by Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Senior Research Fellow at IFPRI, World Water Week,August 26-31, 2012, Stockholm, Sweden

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  • A bit of history: FAO SOFA and other evidence built the case that empowering women is important in agriculture, but not all projects have done so; many even have inadvertent negative effectsUSAID made commitment to “inclusive growth”, but if all that is measured is income, then gender equity can be brushed aside.So USAID commissioned IFPRI and OPHI to develop a measure of women’s empowerment in agriculture
  • Note: text in red are my suggestions of adaptations/applications to water
  • Transcript

    • 1. Women‘s Empowerment inAgriculture Index (WEAI): Lessons for Water
    • 2. Purpose of WEAI• Design, develop, and test an index to measure the greater inclusion of women in agricultural sector growth that has occurred as a result of US Government intervention under the Feed the Future Initiative – To be used to assess the impact of Feed the Future‘s impact in 19 countries• Possible applications to understand key areas for attention in designing programs or assess impact of NGO, other agricultural programs
    • 3. What is new about the WEAI?• An aggregate index in two parts: – Five domains of empowerment (5DE): assesses whether women are empowered in the 5 domains of empowerment in agriculture – Gender Parity Index (GPI): reflects the percentage of women who are as empowered as the men in their households• Survey-based index, not based on aggregate statistics or secondary data, constructed using interviews of the primary male and primary female adults in the same household – Piloted in Bangladesh, Uganda, Guatemala—comparable across countries, with some adaptation
    • 4. Five Domains of Women’sEmpowermentin Agriculture
    • 5. Case studiesCase studies consisted ofinterviews on five domains withnarratives to explain answers,describe ―life stories,‖ and getconcepts of empowerment frommen and women themselves “Being empowered, it meansthat the woman can do things too, not just the man” ~ Woman, Guatemala aged 63
    • 6. Who is empowered?A woman who has achieved‗adequacy‘ in 80% or moreof the weighted indicatorsis empowered
    • 7. Gender Parity Index (GPI)Reflects two things:1. The percentage of women who enjoy gender parity. A woman enjoys gender parity if – she is empowered or – if her empowerment score is equal to or greater than the empowerment score of the primary male in her household.2. The empowerment gap - the average percentage shortfall that a woman without parity experiences relative to the male in her household.The GPI adapts the Foster Greer Thorbecke Poverty Gap measure to reflectgender parity.
    • 8. Lilian, Uganda (Empowerment Score 83%) Has parity with her husband Wilson
    • 9. Seema is Disempowered (Empowerment Score =64%) She has not achieved parity with her husband
    • 10. Bangladesh: How to increase empowerment?
    • 11. Bangladesh: How to increase empowerment? Contribution of each indicator to disempower- ment of women and men
    • 12. Uganda: How to increase empowerment?
    • 13. The WEAI can be used to:1) Understand major areas of disempowerment2) Show how to increase women‘s empowerment3) Track changes over time in He and Ae4) Monitor progress toward gender equality
    • 14. Applications to Water• WEAI is quantitative, outcome indicator (may need other qualitative process indicators, e.g. for AMCOW)• Level of measurement: individual or community?• Same or different domains of empowerment?• Gender parity: measure men as well as women?
    • 15. 5 Domains of Empowerment for Water?• Production: Involvement in different water-related activities/uses, and decision-making related to each water use• Resources: Ownership and decisionmaking power over productive resources (or focus on water-related infrastructure and water rights?)• Income: Sole or joint control over the use of income and expenditures (how relevant for water?)• Leadership: Group membership (all or water user groups?), comfort in speaking in public, feel able to make changes in water-related infrastructure or institutions?• Time: productive and domestic tasks and satisfaction with the available time for leisure—very relevant for water, and may show value of improved domestic or garden uses, close to home