Women play an important role in agricultural growth in developing countries, but they face persistent obstacles and economic constraints. The Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI), which covers 16 countries, measures the empowerment and inclusion of women in the agriculture sector, to identify ways to overcome those obstacles and constraints.

Women in Bangladesh are deeply engaged in agriculture but their contribution is largely unrecognized. They have very low levels of land and asset ownership, and do not have access to extension services or other inputs, such as seeds and fertilizer.

The index is calculated based on two sub-indexes. The Five Domains of Empowerment Index (5DE) determines most of the score. It registers to which degree women truly participate in agriculture.

A woman is considered empowered if she scores well on four out of five of the domains:

  1. Production: can women make sole or joint decisions over food and farming--are they autonomous in agricultural production?
  2. Resources: do women own or have access to productive resources such as land, livestock, agricultural equipment, and credit?
  3. Income: do women have sole or joint control over income and expenditures?
  4. Leadership: can women participate in economic or social groups?
  5. Time: can women allocate time to productive and domestic tasks, and are they satisfied with the available time for leisure activities?

The Gender Parity Index (GPI) the other building block of the WEAI, looks at the differences between the main female and male adult in a household.

Note: Data on speaking in public could not be collected in Cambodia because of its historical and cultural context.