REAPING what they sow, women's contribution is being measured
How much sway do you hold as the female partner in your farm enterprise?
Especially when it comes to making decisions about agricultural production, how you use your land and livestock and what you spend money on?
And what role do you play in community leadership and how do you use your time?
The stronger the sway, the more you might be regarded as "wearing the pants" in the partnership, or having more power or being more empowered.
If these are joint decisions where both partners have equal say, then both partners "wear the pants".
In developing nations, empowering women in agriculture, on their farms and in their market gardens is a key step for reducing widespread hunger and poverty.
It's crucial for increasing production and ensuring that agricultural production reduces hunger, according to Ruth Meinzen-Dick of the Washington-based International Food Policy Research Institute.
The institute is one of four key global poverty and hunger institutes behind a new index for measuring women's empowerment levels in agriculture, which was commissioned by the US Government.
The institutes, including USAid and the economic research centre Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, want to use the Women's Empowerment in Agriculture Index to measure the effectiveness of the American aid dollar.
They figure that by checking empowerment levels of any aid project, they'll soon be able to ascertain which will be themost effective or give themthe most bang for their hunger-and-poverty-reducing buck.
The Women's Empowerment in Agriculture Index measures five key domains.
Those domains are:
Production: Sole or joint decision making over food and cash-crop farming, livestockand fisheries, as well as autonomy across agricultural production.
Resources: Ownership, access to, and decision making power over productive resources such as land, livestock, agricultural equipment, consumer durables and credit.
Income: Sole or joint control over income and expenditures.
Leadership: Membership in economic or social groups and comfort in speaking in public.
Time: Allocation of time to productive and domestic tasks and satisfaction with the available time for leisure activities.
The International Food Policy Research Institute says a woman is defined as empowered "if she has adequate achievements in four of the five domains or is empowered in some combination of the weighted indicators that reflect 80 per cent total adequacy".
This might all sound very mathematical and formulaic, but that's the very point.
So far the Index has been piloted in Bangladesh, Uganda and Guatemala, but USAid plans to use it in 19 countries all up, where it's conducting projects under the presidential Feed The Future initiative, which specifically tackles hunger and attempts to bolster food security.
The Index is not available at a national level yet, so we can't use it for examples to check the empowerment levels of women in agriculture in Australia.
Nor was it designed specifically for the purposes of determining one woman's level of empowerment, though this is possible.
Rather, it's been designed for developing countries and to measure the effectiveness of aid projects.
Still, I can't help thinking that many of us might be tempted to rate ourselves using the Index.
Just for fun.