Natural Resources

The gender and natural resources thematic area is aimed at protecting women’s livelihoods, women’s land access and ownership. This includes monitoring the impact of activities in the extractive industry and land acquisitions on women’s health, economic and social wellbeing. The activities consist of research, capacity building and advocacy in oil and gas, gold mining and Land Rights.

strengthening women's voice in land governance

The Gender and Land Rights Project was funded by the International Institute for Environment and Development and implemented in partnership with the Grassroot Sisterhood Foundation. The first phase of the project strengthened rural women’s voice and representation in land governance in Ghana. It specifically focused on issues of control over decision making in the governance of land and agricultural investments at the household, community and national level, from a gender perspective. It explored processes, initiatives and interventions that strengthened women’s voice, representation and control over decision-making at different levels, and through this improved legal empowerment and accountability.

 It also analysed how such initiatives or their outcomes might be linked to policy processes to facilitate wider shifts and address implementation gaps in land and investment governance. Phase I of the project contributed to increasing awareness on identified community level gender equitable land governance innovations and brought on board key actors to learn and share best practices on gendered land rights. The second phase of the project which was implemented in two project sites: Wamale (Nanton Traditional Area, Tamale) and Somanya (Accra Plains) was aimed at developing and further testing innovative practical approaches to strengthen women’s voices in land governance in order to increase their control over their livelihood options; feed findings into and promote national level debates; and share lessons with a wider range of stakeholders internationally, including civil society, government and the private sector.

The project has contributed immensely to interventions to secure the land tenure rights of women and increased the voice of women farmers in land governance in the context of land commercialization in Ghana.

ADDRESSING SYSTEMIC BARRIERS TO ENHANCE GENDER EQUALITY AND SOCIAL

The project ultimately seeks to address structural and systemic challenges that have created barriers inhibiting women and socially excluded persons from enjoying their basic human rights. These challenges include inheritance where lineage systems are key determinants of obtaining and inheriting land; lack of knowledge of rights which undermines the ability of the majority of
the people especially women and migrant land tenants to access their rights; customary laws
and norms which disadvantages women and socially excluded groups; and land commercialisation which is widening the gender inequality and class gaps as well as worsening the land rights of both indigenes and migrants. 

The project further aims at promoting gender equality and social inclusion reforms in land governance through research, awareness creation, capacity building and advocacy. It also seeks to gradually build national momentum for the passage of the Land Bill.
The project is supported by the STAR Ghana Foundation with support from UK Aid, DANIDA and the European Union.

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