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“As a Husband I Will Love, Lead, and Provide.” Gendered Access to Land in Ghana

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  • Lambrecht, Isabel Brigitte

Abstract

Improving women’s access to land is high on the agricultural policy agenda of both governmental and non-governmental agencies. Yet, the determinants and rationale of gendered access to land are not well understood. This paper argues that gender relations are more than the outcomes of negotiations within households. It explains the importance of social norms, perceptions, and formal and informal rules shaping access to land for male and female farmers at four levels: (1) the household/family, (2) the community, (3) the state, and (4) the market. The framework is applied to Ghana, using the results from qualitative field work. Norms on household and family organization and on men’s and women’s responsibilities and capabilities play a key role in gendered allocation of resources. However, these norms and perceptions are dynamic and evolve jointly with the development of markets and changes in values of inputs such as labor and land. Theoretical models that represent the gendered distribution of assets as the result of intrahousehold bargaining should be revised, and extrahousehold factors should be included. From a policy perspective, laws that ensure gender equality in terms of inheritance and a more gender-equitable distribution of property upon divorce can play a key role in improving women’s property rights. Yet, their impact may be limited where customary rights dominate and social norms and rules continue to discriminate according to gender.

Suggested Citation

  • Lambrecht, Isabel Brigitte, 2016. "“As a Husband I Will Love, Lead, and Provide.” Gendered Access to Land in Ghana," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 188-200.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:88:y:2016:i:c:p:188-200
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2016.07.018
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    1. repec:eee:jfpoli:v:79:y:2018:i:c:p:256-270 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:wdevel:v:108:y:2018:i:c:p:103-114 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Isabel Lambrecht & Monica Schuster & Sarah Asare Samwini & Laura Pelleriaux, 2018. "Changing gender roles in agriculture? Evidence from 20 years of data in Ghana," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 49(6), pages 691-710, November.
    4. Ghebru, Hosaena & Khan, Huma & Lambrecht, Isabel, 2016. "Perceived land tenure security and rural transformation: Empirical evidence from Ghana:," IFPRI discussion papers 1545, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Houssou, Nazaire & Kolavalli, Shashidhara & Silver, Jed, 2016. "Agricultural intensification, technology adoption, and institutions in Ghana:," GSSP policy notes 10, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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