Improving women’s access to farmland in northern Ghana

| February 14, 2024

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This edition’s story from Malawi shows that women can indeed be the main breadwinner in rural families. Our Script of the week explores one of the main barriers to women increasing their farming income to support the family: inadequate access to land. 

According to a World Bank study, women provide about 70% of total agricultural labour in Africa. But women face many challenges when it comes to accessing, controlling, and owning farmland. The gender disparities in access to and control over land and other productive resources and its implications for women in Africa are clear. In Ghana, particularly in the northern regions, these challenges can be attributed to many different factors.

For instance, customary lands, which account for an estimated 80% of the country, are managed by traditional authorities and governed under cultural lineages and inheritance systems. These systems are patrilineal, which means that men receive exclusive rights to land and women have access to land mainly through male family members. Women’s access to land is therefore tied to their marriage and their husband’s lineage.

In this script, you will hear the success story of a woman in northern Ghana who has been successful at owning and maintaining farmland gained through inheritance. You will also learn more about the challenges facing women in general with access to land.

You might choose to produce this script on your station, using voice actors to represent the speakers. If so, please make sure to tell your audience at the beginning of the program that the voices are those of actors, not the original people involved in the interviews.

You may want to use this script to research a similar topic in your area and write your own script. You could ask your interviewees the following questions:

  • What can be done to close the productivity gap between women farmers and their male counterparts?
  • Do women farmers face challenges accessing land, finance, technologies, and farm inputs? If so, how can this be addressed? Improving women’s access to farmland in northern Ghana