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Tropentag, September 18 - 20, 2019 in Kassel

"Filling gaps and removing traps for sustainable resources development"

Gendered Land Rights in Ghana: A Threat to Sustainable Agricultural Production

Angela Akorsu

University of Cape Coast, Dept. of Labour and Human Resource Studies, School for Development Studies, Ghana


Women and men contribute to, and are affected by threats to food security, climate change, soil degradation and depletion of natural resources differently and unequally. Sustainable resource management, which is a response to these threats, can therefore not succeed without interrogating the enormous gender-based inequities in agricultural production, which is fundamentally land-based. Land remains the most crucial resource for securing livelihoods for both females and males in any agrarian economy like Ghana's. Yet, gender social relations and their embeddedness in the agricultural production systems have always structured land allocation in ways that have meant limited access to and control over land for women. The importance of addressing this knowledge gap cannot be over emphasised in view of the fact that a notable proportion of agricultural workers in Ghana are women. Women in agriculture constitute an estimated 52 percent of agricultural labour force, 70 percent of food producers and 95 percent of agro-processors. This presentation highlights gendered land rights as a major threat to sustainable agricultural production by seeking to answer pertinent questions such as; (1) Why is gender an important narrative in agricultural production? (2) How does gender determine access to and control over land, particularly in Ghana? (3) How do women's limited land rights threaten sustainability in agricultural production? (4) What interventions can potentially remove the gendered land right trap to ensure sustainability in agricultural production?

Keywords: Gender, land access

Contact Address: Angela Akorsu, University of Cape Coast, Dept. of Labour and Human Resource Studies, School for Development Studies, Cape Coast, Ghana, e-mail: aakorsu@ucc.edu.gh

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