Title: Land allocation to women: a case study of two communities in the Northern Region of Ghana

Final project
Year of publication:
land allocation, women, Ghana


Despite women’s significant contribution in provision of food and general well-being of families in rural areas, gender disparity is still found in access to land and quality of land allocated to women. This study explored the socio-cultural context of land allocation to different groups of women and women’s land management practices in two communities in the Savelugu Nanton Municipality of the Northern Region of Ghana. Primary data were gathered by semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with women, men and key informants. The results showed that women of differing marital status get access to land through different men. Married women, widows and separated women had a better chance of being allocated land than never married women. In general women’s access to land for farming is strongly linked to motherhood and feeding children. Women can inherit land at their natal home but in practice this right is mainly activated by widows and separated women returning home from matrimonial homes. Women’s access to land in the studied communities has increased over the last 20 years. This is due to men’s recognition of women’s contribution to the family and women’s need for a new source of income with the depletion of shea trees. Women generally have access to poorer quality land close to homesteads, but can get unused land through chiefs if they can pay for the clearing of fields. It is recommended that local government’s extension services and NGOs address the gender-gap in farming, attend to both practical and strategic needs of women farmers, and promote women’s access to communal land and assistance with clearing new land.

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