The women’s empowerment in agriculture index: Results from SPRING/Bangladesh’s farmer nutrition schools
This report (PDF) by the Strengthening Partnerships, Results, and Innovations in Nutrition Globally project (SPRING) studies whether women who have participated in Farmer Nutrition Schools in Bangladesh are more empowered than women who have not. For this the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) tool was used. Although lessons in the schools did not specifically address empowerment, they did focus on indicators of empowerment, such as production decision making, community leadership, and control over the use of income. Findings reveal that female participants had higher empowerment scores than non-participants. The women in the schools also made greater improvements in empowerment over time. Although the intervention did not specifically target men, it is important to consider greater involvement of men to accelerate women’s empowerment. The end result is that both women and men gain skills around more than nutrition and food production; it helps women become more confident and productive, more empowered and better able to lead their communities. Thus, the authors recommend that other projects seeking to affect empowerment do so through a similar “bundled“ approach.