Ensuring Land Rights for Women in Ghana

Kongo is one of the thirty-seven communities in the Garu-Tempane District of northern Ghana that participate in the implementation of the Pathways project. Kongo has 8 Village Savings and Loan Association groups, 8 Community Based Extension Agents (CBEA’s), and two gender champions. Project participants have received trainings in gender, good agronomic practices and other related leadership trainings.

In May 2016, the chief, the Tindana (traditional custodian of the land), and the women’s leader participated in a two-day human and land rights training for 140 community leaders. The main objective of the training was to increase understanding of how secure land tenure enhances women’s land rights, increases food and income security through agricultural investment, and empowers women in negotiation skills for secure tenure and increased participation in good land governance.

Other objectives of the training were as follows:

  • Participants gain understanding of inequity in land governance
  • Increase participant’s understanding of their right to land as a means to achieving fundamental human rights to identity, education, shelter and most importantly to food and livelihood security
  • Enhance participant’s awareness of local and international provisions that promote land rights

After the training, Asibobo, a women’s leader from Kongo, shared her knowledge acquired through the VSLA groups. She also helped Pokungkong, a 42-year-old widow, to seek final redress from chief and elders regarding the seizure of her farmlands.

According to Pokungkong, “I married my husband 16 years ago as a third wife and have 6 children, 1 female and 5 males. He died 5 years ago, the farmlands I was cultivating on have been confiscated by the first wife’s sons and other family members. I have also been sacked from the house, I live with my relatives. Life has been very difficult”.

Led by Asibobo, Pokungkong felt very confident to go back to the chief’s palace the third time to seek redress. The chief judged the case in her favor and returned her land to her. She has also been provided with a piece land and wood to construct her own shelter.

Picture11 600x450 Ensuring Land Rights for Women in Ghana

Pokungkong on her farmland, summer 2016.

Chief Yakubu stated, “I did not know that all human beings had equal rights, I thought women did not have right to inheritance and property because of our cultural practices. That informed the decision of the previous judgements. No widow or orphan will be intimidated again. Thanks to CARE, please continue the education”.