Notes to broadcasters
Land is a key resource for African women, a resource on which their income and livelihoods depend. Most women rely on land for their livelihoods and are responsible for a good proportion of agricultural production. In sub-Saharan Africa, women make up nearly 50% of agricultural workers. But many are either landless or have limited and insecure rights to land. The central role that rural women play in agriculture means that the insecurity of their land rights threatens their well-being—and that of their children and communities.
For rural women, access and control of land resources can lead to wealth, while lack of access and control can lead to poverty. Securing women’s land rights is therefore important for improving the status of women in society as well as improving general economic and social development.
When they are not fighting for land, women are more likely to invest money, labour, and other resources in farm activities that can earn them an income. They are also more likely to preservethe land they farm by practicing environmentally-friendly farming methods that save water and keep the soil healthy. Indeed, an increasing amount of research is finding that including women in political decision-making about land-based resources can result in better use and management of resources because women bring new ideas and fresh perspectives on ways that resources can be managed.
Traditionally, most African communities grant men total control of land and discriminate against women owning and controlling land. Women are able to access land only through male relatives. This results in conflicts over land and in resolutions of these conflicts that burden women.
In 2020, women are still disadvantaged in their access to land and their ability to make decisions on the land they use. Much more needs to be done by women and their allies to successfully demand their rights. Some progress has been made. There are now more policies, land laws, and constitutions that promote secure land rights for women. But many of these measures have not been fully implemented. A greater political push is needed to ensure that women are placed at the centre of land use and management in their communities.
In this drama, the women of a fictional community called Adiepena have poor access to land. Faced with many uncertainties, they can only farm on lands given to them by men. But the women come togetherwith determination to fight. They learn about their right to own lands and take the necessary steps to gain their independence from the men. The play focuses on educating women on how to register their lands through deed registration. The women also learn about the family land system and how to lawfully acquire family lands and to secure their lands by registering them at the District Lands Commission.
Please note that some of the scenes in this drama contain very detailed information about owning, registering, and selling land in Ghana. If you air this drama, you should modify it to align with the laws and customs where you live, and also invite an expert on these issues in your country to speak and respond to questions from listeners about the subjects covered in the drama.
You could use this drama as inspiration to produce a similar program on women’s access to and control of land, and how communities can find solutions. Or you might choose to present the drama as part of your regular farmer program, using voice actors to represent the speakers.
The drama includes four scenes, varying in length from 2-3 minutes to 8-10 minutes.
Duration of the drama, with intro and outro: 30 minutes
You see, you will benefit immensely by owning your own land and registering it, as it will help you plan and develop your farm. The land papers will also make it easy for you to access credit and help facilitate land transfers and make the documents acceptable in court.
To finalize this process, the recording and signing by the lawyer at the Land Registration Division is required. When all this is done, you can now collect your deed.
Nana welcomes everyone to the palace. He is well aware of the many land conflicts in this town. Let us be attentive to today’s hearing. Nana, speak.
Always deal with the stool occupants—the chief—and principal elders when buying stool lands. Always deal with the head of the family and principal family members when buying a family land. Always conduct a search at the Lands Commission to be sure of the land ownership and the type of land before making payment. Always obtain a receipt for all payments made at the Lands Commission. Lastly, always deal with the officials at the Lands Commission to avoid being defrauded. Thank you, Nana, for this opportunity.
Contributed by: Abena Dansoa Ofori Amankwa, script writer and Director at Eagles Roar Creatives.
Reviewed by: Lois Aduamah, Programme Officer, Women in Law and Development (WILDAF) in Ghana.
Mequasa.com, undated. Land Title Registration in Ghana.
Government of Ghana. Land Title Registration Act, 1986, PNDCL152. https://opencontentghana.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/gha6287.pdf (for title registration)
Government of Ghana. Land Registry Act, 1962, Act 122. Downloadable at https://landwise.resourceequity.org/records/1578 (for deed registration)
Bruce Lilian J. Authur, Civil Society Coalition on Land (CICOL) Ghana, November 2019
Lois Aduamuah, Programme Officer, Women in Law and Development (WILDAF) in Ghana, November 2019
Comfort Lamley Sakey, farmer. Kojo Ashong community, Amasaman, November, 2019
Paulina Abozo, farmer, Kojo Ashong community, Amasaman, November, 2019
Sarah Ahele, farmer, Kojo Ashong community, Amasaman, November, 2019
Vida Sackey, farmer, Kojo Ashong community, Amasaman, November, 2019
Regina Bredu, farmer, Kojo Ashong community, Amasaman, November, 2019
Grace Larby, farmer, Kojo Ashong community, Amasaman, November, 2019
Papa Sampson Lamptey, Liason Officer, Ga West Municipal Assembly, Amasaman area, November, 2019
Samuel Yaw Ofori, Agriculturist, Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), Suhum-Ghana, December 2019
This resource is undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through Global Affairs Canada.