A Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana Law School has revealed that the customs that require a woman to be accompanied by a man to purchase a piece of land are halted.
Kwame Gyan said such discriminatory practices have now been outlawed with the passage of the new Land Act 2020 (Act 1036).
“In some communities, a woman would not have to get a land all to herself; she has to be accompanied by a man. Even if it is a nine-year-old boy it is seen as she is with a man and they will allocate the land in the name of the man for the use of the woman.”
“You can no longer tell a woman that if you don’t come with a man, you cannot have a land. It will be a practice contrary to Section 11 and you are in trouble” he explained.
Ghana enacted the new Land Act, 2020 (Act 1036) to help consolidate the existing laws on land and land administration into a single Act and bring sanity in the various land tenure systems.
In some parts of Ghana, women do not enjoy equal rights to land; they have only secondary use rights to land and they can only gain access to land through their husbands, brothers and sons.
Also, some customary inheritance systems such as patrilineal succession limit or even exclude women’s succession rights to land.
But speaking to the host of Newsfile Samson Lardy Anyenini Saturday, Mr Gyan said these acts are repugnance to good conscience, natural justice democratic processes if they are allowed to exist.
The Land Act 2020 (Section 11) stipulates that,…a decision or practices which discriminates on grounds of place of origin, ethnic origin, political opinions, colour, gender, occupation, religion or creed; disability, social or economic status is void.”
The land administration expert further indicated that the 1992 constitution of Ghana frowns on discriminatory practices based on gender, creed and or ethnicity hence the new land law provides equal opportunities for women to also own a piece of land if they so desire.
“Already Article 17 of the constitution prohibits discrimination. So what Section 11 of the Land Act 2020 has done is to take the prohibition on discrimination as enshrined in the Constitution and put it in the Land Act and say that these practices wouldn’t be countenanced,” Mr Gyan said.
Kwame Gyan said it may take Ghana over 20 decades to actualise the full benefit of reforms started in 2003 with the assistance from the World Bank in fixing the country’s land administration system.
He is, however, of the firm belief that, the implementation of these progressive reforms will enhance the administrative framework of land registration, security and governance in the country.