Gender and Land Rights Database


Local decision-making organizations and women’s representation in them


The country has a decentralized system of local government and administration system made up of a structure of Regional Coordinating Councils (RCC) and Municipal/District Assemblies (DAs).

The RCC is an administrative and coordinating rather than a political and policy-making body. Its functions are to: i. monitor, coordinate and evaluate the performance of the DAs in the region and coordinate public services generally in the region. RCCs are established for each of the 10 regions of the country.

The District Assembly is the administrative authority in the district and has deliberative, legislative and executive powers. The Assembly is responsible for the implementation of development policies and programmes coordinated by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC). DAs are either metropolitan, municipal or district. The Assembly is composed of one person from each local government electoral area within the district elected by universal adult suffrage. No quotas within its membership are set aside for women representatives. There are 3 metropolitan assemblies, 4 municipal assemblies and 103 DAs (27).

The Regional Houses of Chiefs, under the Chieftaincy Act of 2008, have functions of dispute resolution and compilation of customary law. Each traditional area has a Traditional Council and may have more than one Divisional Council. A Chief acts as arbitrator in disputes regarding customary law where parties consent to arbitration (19).

Sources: numbers in brackets (*) refer to sources displayed in the Bibliography