Jumat, 06 Agustus 2010


Various studies have shown that land tenure systems have not favoured women in most African countries, and for the economically active woman, access to land for farming is difficult.

For many of these women, the primary source of land  is through their husbands, their lineage, inheritance, informal and market arrangements such as share contract and non market transactions such as loans and gifts.

These problems have been the subject of several studies and general debates over the years. Studies on this issue have concluded that while women are able to obtain land for farming,other economic activites and for  housing, the terms of such agreements do not ensure control and tenure security.

This is because of the rules of access determined by male dominated kinship institutions and traditional authority structures known broadly as customary law, discriminate against them.
Although in principle these women aquire land in order that they can fulfill thier responsibilities to their families, differences between norms and their practices derived from them have over time resulted in discriminatory practices against women.

The Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Reseach(ISSER) of the University of Ghana, has therefore lauched a three year project of policy and advocacy which would focus on reviewing secondary litrature and re-analysing a anational survey conducted by ISSER on land tenure issues.

 Commenting on the issue in an address read by the Deputy Minister of Women and Childeren Affairs (MOWAC), Hajia Hawawu Boya, the sector Minister, Mrs Juliana Azumah-Mensah called for a review of the country's land tenure systems, a cultural practice that prevent women from having access to lands. This was at a workshop to lauch a project on " Promoting  Gender Equity in Land Systems" in Accra.

The workshop was held under the auspices of ISSER to discuss findings of its phase of the three year project policy and advocacy survey concerning land tenure issues and how they affected women in Ghana.
It brought together participants from women rights advocacy groups, people in acadanemia and the relevant ministries and agencies.

Hajia Boya said although women are major producers of food crops and played crucial role in providing and carring for thier household, their problem with land aquisition made them lay behind in ownership of agricutural land and access to icome from land.

She said" women access to land id limited by male centered kinship institutions, authority structures, unclear plural legal systems of land tenure systems and social norms.

She further stated that disperity in the access to land was one of the major causes for social and economic inequalities between man and woman in rural areas and it also jeopardised food security which had an impact on national food security and develpoment.

The Deputy Project Coordinator and Research Fellow of the ISSER, Dr Isaac Osei Akoto said the project would help promote equity in the country's land tenure systems.

He added that by the end of the three year period," we will be able to examine the elements of disagreements about women's rights in relation to land aquisition and move toward a more democratic and gender equitable land tenure system."

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