Gender and Land Rights Database


Rights entrenched in the Constitution


The Constitution, adopted in 1992: (13)
- Article 11[2]-3]: Defines customary law as part of the common law of the country.
- Article 12[2]: “Every person in Ghana, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinion, colour, religion, creed or gender shall be entitled to the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual contained in this Chapter but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest.”
- Article 17[1]  Right to equality before the law.
- Article 17[2] states that “...a person shall not be discriminated against on grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnic origin, religion, creed or social or economic status.”
- Article 17[4] states that the Parliament shall not be prevented from enacting laws that are reasonably necessary to provide for matters relating to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other matters of personal law.
- Article 18[1] recognizes the right to own property either alone or in association with others.
- Article 20[1] provides that the State shall make no compulsory acquisition of property unless it necessary in the interest of defence, public safety or the necessity for the acquisition is clearly stated.
- Article 20[2] states that compulsory acquisition of property by the State shall only be made under a law which makes provision for [a] the prompt payment of fair and adequate compensation; and [b] a right of access to the High Court by any person who has an interest in or right over the property, for the determination of his interest or right and the amount of compensation to which he is entitled.
- Article 20[5]: “Any property compulsorily taken possession of or acquired in the public interest or for a public purpose shall be used only in the public interest or for the public purpose for which it was acquired.”
- Article 22[1] guarantees both spouses with a reasonable portion of each other’s estate, regardless of whether or not the spouse executed a will before death.
- Article 26[2]: prohibits “all customary practices which dehumanise or are injurious to the physical and mental well-being of a person.”
- Article 27[1] provides for special care and paid leave for mothers during a reasonable period before and after child-birth.
- Article 27[2] states that facilities shall be provided for the care of children below school age to enable women to realize their full potential.
- Article 27[3] guarantees women with equal rights to training and promotion.
- Article 36[3]: “The State shall take appropriate measures to promote the development of agriculture and industry.”
- Article 36[6] states that the Government shall adopt positive actions to ensure the full integration of women into the mainstream of economic development.
- Article 36[7] guarantees the right of property and the right of inheritance.
- Article 257[1]: “All public lands in Ghana shall be vested in the President on behalf of, and in trust for, the people of Ghana.”
- Article 258[1] provides for the establishment of Lands Commission that shall manage public lands and any lands vested in the President by this Constitution or by any other law or any lands vested in the Commission.
- Article 266 states that rights or interest over land shall vest only in the citizens of Ghana.
- Article 267: Regulates “Stool and Skin Lands and Property”, and states that, “all stool lands in Ghana shall vest in the appropriate stool on behalf of, and in trust for the subjects of the stool in accordance with customary law and usage”.
- Article 270[1]: “The institution of chieftaincy, together with its traditional councils as established by customary law and usage, is hereby guaranteed.” (13)