The Women’s Empowerment Global Synthesis Report has been launched by the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future. The report, co-authored by OPHI Director Sabina Alkire, provides a comprehensive analysis of the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) baseline survey results for thirteen countries.
The WEAI is the first-ever measure to directly capture women’s empowerment and inclusion levels in the agricultural sector. Developed by USAID, the International Food Policy Research Institute and OPHI, the index is an innovative tool that tracks women’s engagement in agriculture in five areas: production, resources, income, leadership and time use.
The new report summarizes 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.