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Piloting and Development of the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index
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 • It is a 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
Scope of the WEAI • Focus is strictly on empowerment in agriculture, distinct from: • Economic status • Education • Empowerment in other domains This enables clear analysis of external determinates of empowerment in agriculture. • WEAI is international; Local adaptation possible.
How is the Index constructed? WEAI is made up of two sub indices Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) All range from zero to one; higher values = greater empowerment
The reality of the pilot • Tested feasibility in a real-world setting before scale-up • New survey instrument was piloted in 3 countries (Bangladesh, Guatemala, Uganda), with ~350 households/625 individuals each, focusing on the Feed the Future zones of influence • Representative of the zone of influence (not nationally) • An innovation in the measurement and monitoring of women’s empowerment in agriculture—not the final word on it!
Case studies Case studies consisted of interviews on five domains with narratives to explain answers, describe “life stories,” and get concepts of empowerment from men and women themselves “Being empowered, it means that the woman can do things too, not just the man” ~ Woman, Guatemala aged 63
A woman’s empowerment score shows her own achievements Five domains of empowerment
Who is empowered? A woman who has achieved ‘adequacy’ in 80% or more of the weighted indicators is empowered
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 reflect gender parity.
Lilian, Uganda (Empowerment Score 83%) Has parity with her husband Wilson
Seema is Disempowered (Empowerment Score = 64%) She has not achieved parity with her husband
Bangladesh Pilot results • 31.9% of women are empowered • Disempowered women have adequate achievements in 60.7%of domains • 59.8% of women enjoy gender parity • Households without gender parity have a 25.2% empowerment gap between the woman and man Overall, the WEAI score is 0.749
Bangladesh: How to increase empowerment? Contribution of each indicator to disempower-ment of women and men
Empowerment, wealth and education • Wealth – clear association with empowerment in Uganda, but an imperfect proxy in Bangladesh and Guatemala: • 76% in top three quintiles are disempowered in Guatemala • Education – significant influence in Guatemala and Uganda but insignificant for men and women in Bangladesh: • In Uganda, 35% of women with less than primary schooling are empowered vs. 45% with primary education • 31% of women with less than primary education were empowered in Bangladesh vs. 33% with primary schooling
The WEAI can be used to: • Understand major areas of disempowerment • Show how to increase women’s empowerment • Track changes over time in He and Ae • Monitor progress toward gender equality