The constitution of Ghana guarantees the right of all citizens, including women to register their land or property and as such any customary law or practice which bars women from owning land or property is unconstitutional and outmoded, Mrs. Sarah Antwi-Boasiako, the Social Development and Gender Specialist of the Land Administration Project (LAP-2) has said.
She said Article 18 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, which remains the highest and supreme law and order of the country stipulates that “every person has the right to own property either alone in association with others” and urged women to register their land either on their own or jointly with their husbands.
Addressing a three-day workshop for Ashanti Regional Gender Focal Persons of Land Sector and Implementing Agencies of the Second Ghana Land Administration Project in Kumasi, Mrs. Antwi-Boasiako said the practice and custom in certain parts of the country which discriminated against women and prevented them from owning land must be resisted and discouraged since it was against the laws of the land.
She told the participants to educate women on their rights not only in land and property ownership but also about the Fundamental Human Rights enshrined in the Constitution which guarantees the freedom and liberty of all citizens including women and the vulnerable.
In his contribution, Mr. Eric Mensah-Bonsu, the Human Resource Director of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources who took participants through Public Service Rules and Regulations pertaining to women said the rules ensures that special care be accorded to mothers during a reasonable period before and after child birth and that during those periods, for six weeks, working mothers shall be accorded paid leave.
The Communication and Public Outreach Specialist of the Land Administration Project informed the participants that LAP-2 was one of the Government’s interventions to reduce poverty under the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources with funding support from the World Bank and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) by working towards the streamlining of the legal and regulatory framework, decentralizing land service delivery, providing improved maps and building the capacity of the Land sector staff and institutions aimed at reducing the cost and time in land transactions among others.
The workshop brought together Gender Focal Persons for the Implementing Agencies of the Project in the Ashanti Region including the Lands Commission, Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands, the Town and Country Planning Department, the Judicial Service and Non-Governmental Organizations like the Civil Society Coalition on Lands (CICOL) and Friends of Rivers and Water Bodies.