Magazine or Press item

WEAI: Making development programs inclusive


Women play a critical and transformative role in agricultural growth, food and nutrition security, and poverty reduction. Thus, their empowerment is an important determinant for successful development. In 2010, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) approached IFPRI and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative to develop the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI). It was developed to monitor and support the inclusion of women in agriculture as part of the Feed the Future Initiative—the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative. WEAI is a first-of-its-kind tool measuring the roles and extent of women’s empowerment in agriculture relative to men within their households, providing a way to measure women’s control over critical parts of their lives. It also helps in identifying the women who are disempowered and what areas they are disempowered in, which is instrumental in designing solutions to close the empowerment gap.