Ghana’s Land Reform and Gender Equality

February 2014
Rachel Spichiger & Paul Stacey (DIIS Working Paper)

In 1999 Ghana engaged in an ambitious land reform process with the adoption of a National Land Policy implemented through a Land Administration Project. The reform aims at strengthening land administration institutions and increasing the security of land tenure for landholders on both customary and state land, but the process is facing multiple challenges, e.g. registration of property still causes problems, malfunctioning agencies and institutions, vesting agency in customary authorities, cultural practices hindering women’s access to land and women experiencing discrimination in the implementation process. Donor support is marked by significant shifts, focusing at first on titling and registration and later on customary institutions. Gender issues at first received little consideration but have increasingly been included in the reform process. Yet gender is still not a central preoccupation of land sector activities. Paper calls for more attention to be paid to the accountability of customary institutions and to the potentially excluding impact of the reform along the lines of gender, ethnicity and social status.