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Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences
Master i International Social Welfare and Health Policy
This thesis assesses the effectiveness and practicality of the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) based on two pilots that were conducted in Bangladesh and Uganda. Currently, there is a major gap in gender data, which we should strive to close in order to better target women’s needs, and the WEAI is one tool trying to achieve this. By critically analyzing and assessing the effectiveness of this measurement tool, I highlight the positive impacts the WEAI could potentially have on women’s empowerment and agricultural development in developing countries. I also present some of the major challenges the WEAI faces that keep it from being a representative measurement tool of women’s empowerment. The time period being studied is 2012, which is when the first pilot of the questionnaires was distributed, and 2014, which is when the second pilot of the questionnaires was distributed. Various research strategies were employed such as both qualitative and quantitative analysis of data collected from the pilot findings in Bangladesh and Uganda; semi-structured interviews with researchers who have worked extensively with the WEAI; and the review of published reports, books, journal articles, and government websites. This thesis emphasizes the importance of measurement tools such as the WEAI and the data it produces in order to better focus and target the areas where women lack empowerment in agriculture.
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