Gendered Customary Land Tenure Dynamics and its Implications for Rural Development: A Case Study of the Tolon District in Northern Region of Ghana
Keywords:customary land tenure, women livelihood strategy, Women empowerment, rural development
The study argues for gendered customary land tenure dynamics and its implications for rural development to improve women access to land and human wellbeing in the Tolon District of the Northern Ghana. The study was mainly a case study design. Cluster sampling technique was used to select four communities for the study. Snowball sampling was also used to select 55 household heads whiles 10 key informants were purposively selected. Semi-structured interview, key informant interviews and focus group discussions were used to collect primary data. The study found that; men were the owners of customary lands which
they inherited from their forefathers while leasehold lands were seen to be gender neutral. Borrowed lands were the major mode through which female-headed and other non-owning male households accessed land for agricultural production which were bedeviled with many challenges. The study revealed that most rural households had no knowledge on legal establishment seeking to ensure equal ownership rights in properties. To improve gender gap on land ownership and the secured use of land for rural household wellbeing, this study recommends extensive local level stakeholders’ consultation to protect women rights
to own customary lands to ensure equity.