The Assessment ofWomen’sLand Rights in the Dormaa Traditional Area, Ghana
Women’s lands rights are universal human rights and important to global food security and sustainable development. Ghana has ratified international treaties to protect women’s lands rights and has made laws and policies to deal with these issues. In parallel with this institutional effort, Ghana’s customary land lawshave governed land rights issues. Customary lands are held in trust by traditional authorities, who supposedly guarantee women to haveequal rightsto land as mendo.However, in realitymen appear to have more farmland and favored positions in gaining land ownership. Women generally appear to depend on their husbands for land access and maylose farmland in the event of husband’s death.This paper seeks to find if these perceptions are true. In doing so, it seeks to better understand how women’s rights to farmland are affected by social status,tenure, and accessibility in the Dormaa Traditional area, one of Ghana’s regions with strong traditional land tenure customs.Based on the fieldwork and the survey among 299 farmers in the area, this paper identified Dormaa people’s perceptions about customary land use and ownership practices.We found that most respondents perceived land tenure and accessibility not biased. However, women felt that they needed men for securing customary ownership to land.After discussing these in details, this paper offers some recommendations on how women’saccess to land can be improved in the future.
Keywords - Ghana’s Land Tenure, Land Rights, Women’s Land Right