Share This Article:

The Complexities of Women Land Ownership in Northern Ghana

Full-Text HTML XML Download Download as PDF (Size:360KB) PP. 1-8
DOI: 10.4236/oalib.1102789    975 Downloads   1,553 Views Citations

ABSTRACT

Land issues have the potential to, and actually do generate a lot of conflicts and controversies in rural communities. In Northern Ghana, certain dilemmas, animated controversies, and conflicts about land rights, the resolution of which sometimes leads relatively innocuous compromise later manifest in several negative ramifications. For women in particular, the above negativities associated with land are even more pronounce and more protracted. This research adopted a case study approach to conduct this survey. The specific techniques used for data collection and analysis include: stratified group discussions, focus group discussions, key informant interview, phased assertion (confrontational dialogue), and critical arena analysis. The major findings include the fact that both men and women stated that land allocation to women is a regular affair now. It is the aspect of outright long-term ownership and user rights that are still very restricted. Since women do not sacrifice to the land her role in land sacrifices will be problematic. Women would prefer to acquire such formalized rights in their husbands’ homes, with the understanding that they could pass rights so acquired to their sons. Because of the intricate nature of land and the complications therein, and for the avoidance of perpetual conflicts, the women opted for increasing user-rights rather than ownership or controls of land. The concept of ownership, in their local language, was very nebulous to the women. Some were quick to state that they never wanted to own land. The study thus recommended that the socio-cultural values and practices in the area were inimical to any reforms to mainstream women in land issues. An extensive education and re-education of communities, linked with exposing them to best practices elsewhere are recommended. An endogenous development approach is recommended for such an education. There is a need to strengthen dialogue between women and men on issues of land. When men appreciate the benefits of making land available to women it facilitates the ease of giving out land. Economic empowerment of women is also recommended as a way of making land more accessible to women. The women contend that when they have money or wealth in the form of livestock, these assets make it easier for them to either rent land or engage in some form of traditional land tenure arrangement to acquire land for farming purposes.

Cite this paper

Kaunza-Nu-Dem, M. , Tijani, B. , Millar, D. and Humphrey, A. (2016) The Complexities of Women Land Ownership in Northern Ghana. Open Access Library Journal, 3, 1-8. doi: 10.4236/oalib.1102789.

Copyright © 2019 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.