Women’s empowerment in the livestock sector is essential to progress towards gender equity and to foster livestock development. Diverse strategies exist to empower women, yet they are difficult to prioritize without a reliable and adapted means to measure ‘empowerment’.
The WELI facilitates assessments of the impact of livestock interventions on the empowerment of women involved in the sector. By getting better at understanding what interventions work best at providing empowering opportunities, we can refine these interventions and in the long term, provide better empowering opportunities for women involved in livestock. Providing women farmers with opportunities for empowerment through livestock is important to both enhance household livelihoods and nutrition while also promoting progress on gender equity.
In 2015, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), in collaboration with Emory University developed the Women’s Empowerment in Livestock Index (WELI) tool based on the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) developed earlier by IFPRI. The WELI measures women’s empowerment in livestock and crop agriculture and focuses specifically on key areas of livestock production, such as animal health, breeding and feeding; and on use of livestock products, such as animal-source-food processing and marketing.