Inicio > Base de Datos Género y Derecho a la Tierra > Perfiles de País > Lista de países > Derecho consuetudinario > Normas consuetudinarias, creencias religiosas y prácticas sociales que influyen en el derecho a la tierra diferenciado por género
Base de Datos Género y Derecho a la Tierra


Normas consuetudinarias, creencias religiosas y prácticas sociales que influyen en el derecho a la tierra diferenciado por género


Lineage is one of the most important social institutions in the country. Each person belongs either to a matrilineage or a patrilineage lineage (9). Although all subjects of the stool and lineage members, regardless of sex, have inherent rights of access to, and use of the lands held in trust by the stool or family head; in practice, women have secondary access to land, which are further constrained by patterns of marital residence, gender-based division of labour and organization of production. For instance, land clearing, which is the principal means of establishing usufructuary right to virgin land owned by the clan, is a role traditionally assigned to men (11).

In most customary land tenure systems, community-level decision-making about land are taken by chiefs or family heads who exercise that role on behalf of the community, clan or family. Thus, in both matrilineal or patrilineal cultures, it is the men who preside over the allocation of family resources. As a matter of fact, lineage authority allocates land to the male household head (11).

In patrilineal societies, women may acquire land through marriage, but only as long as the marriage lasts (8). Therefore, stability of marriage and good relations with male relatives are critical factors in maintaining women’s land rights (11). In case of divorce or death of the spouse, women may lose the land. In some circumstances, a woman may hold land in trust for her sons and may have access to land which belongs to her grown up sons and brothers (8). A woman’s right to land obtained through marriage may also change if her husband remarries under a polygamous arrangement (11).

In the Volta Region, women in patrilineal communities, generally gain secondary access to their husbands’ land through marriage but loose access to their own lineage land at the same time (14).

Among the matrilineal Akans, women may have a right to the lineage lands, although the lineage heads often discriminate in giving out land to women (8).

Among most ethnic groups, either matrilineal or patrilineal, in general, women are perceived to be inferior to men. Traditional beliefs and practices perpetuate discrimination. For instance, under trokosi, which is a practice of ritual slavery, young girls are given to shrines in expiation of alleged crimes or sins committed against a deity by a member of the girl’s family (8).

Fuentes: los números entre paréntesis (*) se refieren a las fuentes que están en la sección de Bibliografía