As part of activities to commemorate this year’s International Day of Rural Women 2018, WiLDAF-Ghana in partnership with the Oxfam GROW Campaign project organized a seminar for 30 Traditional leaders and women farmers in the Akwapim North District on the Gender and Spousal Provisions in the Lands Bill.
The seminar was held on October 18, 2018, at Amanokrom in the Eastern region.
The World Rural Women’s Day is observed annually worldwide on October 15 to give recognition to the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.
The objective for this meeting was to increase knowledge on the gender, spousal provisions in the Land Bill by traditional leaders including Chiefs, Queen mothers and women farmers in the district to validate, collate their views and position on these provisions for further engagement Parliament of Ghana.
Board Member of WiLDAF-Ghana, Nana Senyewuo II at the ceremony shared her experienced as being one of the few female chiefs in Ghana, she has observed that women encounter so many barriers in their quest to acquire land in Ghana.
She commended efforts by WiLDAF-Ghana and other partnering NGOs to secure equality and eliminate any form of discrimination which hinders women access to land in Ghana.
She encouraged traditional leaders to use the opportunity to advocate for equitable distribution of land for their community members, particularly women.
Programme Manager, Ms. Patricia Essel further highlighted key achievements chalked by WiLDAF in the area of women’s land rights.
She laid emphasis on improvement within the field by noting that gradually more women are now claiming ownership of land which hitherto was a rare occurrence.
Though this was not the case in most part of the country, she encouraged participants to continue to fight for equality in the area of property rights and right to inheritance.
Ms. Lois Aduamoah Addo, Programmes Officer for WiLDAF Ghana’s “Women’s Economic Empowerment” shared with participants that women face a myriad of challenges in their bid to secure lands rights in Ghana.
This ranges from cultural discrimination, land registration, financial challenges to difficulties accessing justice.
According to Ms. Aduamoah-Addo these barriers are more profound in the rural communities, where most women depend on agriculture for their livelihood.
Ms. Addo explained that these strides made by women land’s rights advocates over the years such as creating awareness and policy influencing has consequently influenced the provisions in the Lands Bill.
She stated the Land Bill is one of the outcomes of the Land Administration Project II being implemented by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.
The Land Bill seeks to better define land management and acquisition in the country by consolidating the fragmented 166 legal instruments governing Land as well as update the legal framework to improve land administration in the country.
Ms Melody Darkey, WILDAF’s National Programmes Coordinator shared the gender provisions in the Land Bill. She appreciated the real progress the Bill has made on issues bothering on property rights among spouses over the years.
She stated the government should be lauded and supported with on the efforts to streamline land reforms through the Bill.
She encouraged further engagement with particularly the Parliament of Ghana to facilitate the passing of the Land Bill into law at the earliest possible time.