By Patience Gbeze, GNA
30, GNA - Gender and Land Rights Phase II Project to highlight and support
initiatives that enhance rural women's participation in land related decisions
has yielded results at Nanton in the Northern Region.
The project was
executed by the Network for Women's Rights (NETRIGHT) Ghana, in partnership
with the Grassroots Sisterhood Foundation (GSF), a Northern Region based NGO.
It also aimed
at strengthening rural women's control over their livelihood options in the
context of the increasing commercial pressure on land and natural resources in
The project was
under the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)
“Gender, Land and Accountability" Programme I selected African countries.
Alhassan, the Executive Director of GSF, speaking at the end of the project
evaluation meeting in Accra, said through the sensitisation and advocacy, the
rural women now had voices in land governance in the catchment area.
She said the
awareness created had gone down with the women to the extent that they, in
turn, educated the members of their various communities.
brought about 40 participants made up of project beneficiaries, project
partners, consultants, NETRIGHT members, and some key stakeholders.
said they had instituted Community Land Development Committee (CLDC) to assist
women to have access to farm lands without any litigation.
The CLDC, she
said, comprised traditional authorities, district authorities, women groups and
other stakeholders in the family land system.
She said they
also came up of tenancy agreement for agricultural land between trustees and
farmers to facilitate access to land for farming purposes.
At the end of
the programme, traditional leaders in seven out of the nine communities had
given out five to 10 acres of land to the women for farming purposes, she said.
first time in the history of the people we were able to break the myth that
community lands cannot be given out to others for commercial purposes".
however, mentioned patriarchy and some negative practices as some of the
challenges in the communities.
challenges include inadequate refresher programmes for the women and
commercialisation of land, which poses a threat to women's desire to secure
Sunu, the Project Coordinator of NETRIGHT, said the first phase looked at the
understanding of local context, existing challenges and emerging approaches
promoting gender-equitable land governance as commercial pressures on land
She said during
the period they worked on the Land Bill, which they submitted to the
Parliamentary Select Committee on Land and Natural resources.
despite the numerous achievements, there were pockets of resistance from some
members who see the LCDC as a threat to their wanton sale of lands in the area.
Ms Sunu said
although the project had ended, NETRIGHT would continue mobilising support to
ensure that women had full access to land.
Blackson Akakpo, the Programmers Manager, urged stakeholders to work to ensure
that women's voices in land governance was strengthened.
She said the
project would be replicated in other communities adding that Somenya, in the
Eastern Region, was selected for the Southern Zone.
Sakyi, the Member of the Steering Committee, NETRIGHT, urged them to take the
programme on with or without donor funding to make the mark in the lives of