Global Resources

Measuring progress toward empowerment Women's Empowerment in Agriculture Index: baseline report

Author: H. J. Malapit
Publisher: International Food Policy Research Institute
Publication Date: Jan 2014

This report provides a comprehensive analysis of the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) baseline survey results, summarising both findings from the WEAI survey and the relationships between the WEAI and various outcomes of interest to the US Government’s Feed the Future initiative. These poverty, health, and nutrition outcomes include both factors that might affect empowerment and outcomes that might result from empowerment.

The analysis includes thirteen countries from five regions and compares their baseline survey scores. WEAI scores range from a high of 0.98 in Cambodia to a low of 0.66 in Bangladesh. Within Africa, West African countries have the lowest WEAI scores, followed by southern Africa with higher scores, and then East Africa, with the highest scores. These numbers provide an important measure of future progress, as baseline surveys for the remainder of Feed the Future countries are completed, and additional rounds of data are collected during the midline and endline surveys.

The findings of this study include that, across the majority of countries and regions, the greatest constraints on empowerment among women in agriculture are the lack of access to credit and the power to make credit-related decisions; excessive workloads; and a low prevalence of group membership. Additionally, in comparing men’s and women's empowerment scores across countries, women are, on average, twice as disempowered as men. Specific constrains were found to dominate certain regions. For example, access to and decisions regarding credit and workload are more the most severe constraints in East Africa and southern Africa respectively.

[adapted from source]