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Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index



Stated Purpose: 

To capture women’s empowerment and inclusion levels in the agricultural sector.

Area of Governance: 
Governance and Gender
Land Governance
Funding Source: 

USAID, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI)

Current usage: 

The WEAI is a composite measurement tool, used by the USAID, OPHI & IFPRI, to assess women’s control over critical parts of their lives in the household, community, and economy.

Type of data used: 

The WEAI s an aggregate index, which merges the indicators of two sub-indices, from which it gathers its data : "five domains of empowerment" (5DE), a household survey, and "the Gender Parity Index" (GPI), household interviews.


Country Coverage: 3 countries; Bangladesh, Guatemala, and Uganda (the index is on the pilot-stage)
Year Coverage: 2012

Contact details: 

Sarah Immenschuh
+1 (202) 862-5679  

Vaishali Dassani (New Delhi office)
+91 9810020635


Uses five domains (5DE) to measure the roles and extent of women’s engagement in the agriculture sector: (1) decisions about agricultural production, (2) access to and decision-making power over productive resources, (3) control over use of income, (4) leadership in the community, and (5) time use, and they comprise  ten indicators. Each domain is weighted equally, as are each of  the indicators within a domain.

The 5DE sub-index is constructed using a robust multidimensional methodology known  as the Alkire Foster Method. It is a measure of  empowerment rather than disempowerment that shows how  many domains women are empowered in. The 5DE sub-index contributes 90 percent of the weight to the WEAI.

The GPI is a relative inequality measure that reflects the inequality in 5DE profiles between the primary adult male and female in each household

The total WEAI score is computed as a weighted sum of the country- or regional-level 5DE and the GPI. Thus, improvements in either the 5DE or GPI will increase the WEAI.
For a full description of the methodology see the WEAI Brochure

Format of results: 

0-1 raking.  

Valid Use: 

WEAI can be used to track progress toward gender equality, which is one of the Millennium Development Goals. Moreover, it may be used by policymakers, development organizations, and academics seeking to inform efforts to increase women’s empowerment.

Invalid Use: 

On the pilot stage, limited coverage and possibilities of comparison. 

Example results: