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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

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. 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, 2016. "“As a husband I will love, lead, and provide:†Gendered access to land in Ghana:," IFPRI discussion papers 1514, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1514
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    Cited by:

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    3. Komatsu, Hitomi & Malapit, Hazel Jean L. & Theis, Sophie, 2018. "Does women’s time in domestic work and agriculture affect women’s and children’s dietary diversity? Evidence from Bangladesh, Nepal, Cambodia, Ghana, and Mozambique," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 256-270.
    4. 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.
    5. Michalscheck, Mirja & Groot, Jeroen C.J. & Fischer, Gundula & Tittonell, Pablo, 2020. "Land use decisions: By whom and to whose benefit? A serious game to uncover dynamics in farm land allocation at household level in Northern Ghana," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 91(C).
    6. Walther, Olivier J. & Tenikue, Michel & Trémolières, Marie, 2019. "Economic performance, gender and social networks in West African food systems," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 1-1.
    7. Kosec, Katrina & Mo, Cecilia Hyunjung & Schmidt, Emily & Song, Jie, 2021. "Perceptions of relative deprivation and women’s empowerment," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 138(C).
    8. Yokying, Phanwin & Lambrecht, Isabel, 2020. "Landownership and the gender gap in agriculture: Insights from northern Ghana," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 99(C).

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    Keywords

    gender; women; land rights; households; customary land rights; customary law; marriage;
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