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News and Views: Ghana

Ghana: Land Tenure System and Women's Rights

June 8, 2012

Land relations are critical for women's right in Ghana. This is because of the centrality of land as a resource for the livelihoods of the majority of our population, food, water, fuel and medical plants.

Those who control lands and its resources also gain social and political power and authority. As such, women's unequal land rights affect their access to other resources and their economic, social and political status in society.

Accusations of Sorcery Still Drive Women from their Homes in Africa.

September 12, 2011

It was Pakpema Bleg’s own family who first accused her of practicing witchcraft.

Her nephew had accidentally pricked his finger on a needle, and the finger swelled up with infection. Bleg hadn’t been there. But the next morning, she says, her brother-in-law arrived outside her house. “Witch!” he allegedly bellowed for all her neighbors to hear. “Witch!” Then, her nephew’s older brother began beating her, she says, and soon others in the village joined in.

Widow Cleansing: Harmful Traditional Practice

April 13, 2009

Violence against women still is universal, and while it has many roots, especially in cultural tradition and customs, it is gender inequality that lies at the cross-cultural heart of violent practices. Violence against women is deeply embedded in human history and its universal perpetration through social and cultural norms serves the main purpose of reinforcing male-dominated power structures.

Ghana: The witches of Gambaga

November 25, 2010


More than 1,000 women accused of witchcraft in northern Ghana live in refuges, where they have to pay for protection from the chief who runs them. Yaba Badoe visits a camp in Gambaga and follows two women as they return to their villages. Watch the video.

Source: The Guardian

Widow "Cleansing" Tradition - Rights Violation

April 13, 2009

Widow cleansing dates back centuries and is practiced for example in countries like Zambia, Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Senegal, Angola, Ivory Coast, Congo and Nigeria. It gives a nod to a man from the widow’s village or her husband’s family, usually a brother or close male relative of her late husband, to force her to have sex with him – ostensibly to allow her husband’s spirit to roam free in afterlife.

WEST AFRICA: Female Genital Mutilation Knows No Borders

PRETORIA, Feb 6 (IPS) - Laws against female genital mutilation are driving the practice underground and across borders, says UNIFEM.

WEST AFRICA: Cross-border FGM on the rise

OUAGADOUGOU, 17 October 2008 (IRIN) - Cross-border female genital mutilation / cutting (FGM/C) is on the rise in West Africa according to the UN, spurring the need to impose a region-wide law banning the practice, say experts.

Experts from the region met this week to discuss how to eliminate FGM/C across West Africa, at a conference sponsored by the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) in the Burkina Faso capital Ouagadougou.

"Trokosi" - Ritual Servitude & Sexual Abuse

March 19, 2008

The most recent report of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences on her mission to Ghana, highlights the practice of offering daughters as 'trokosi' to a traditional fetish shrine to ward off the punishment of the gods for crimes or moral wrongdoings committed by a family member.