A two-day capacity building workshop has been held for queen mothers on the National Queen Mothers Council to educate them on issues about land rights, acquisition and documentation.
The training session held in Accra saw the Queen mothers share thoughts on how they can be involved in land matters within their respective jurisdictions.
The 1992 constitution of Ghana makes Traditional Leaders in Ghana custodians of customary lands. This means that the Traditional Leaders in various communities in Ghana are responsible for the day to day decisions on land acquisition and disposal. Under Ghana’s customary system, traditional leadership is composed of both male and female leaders as Chiefs and Queen Mothers.
However, the involvement of the Queen Mother in customary land governance is not widely accepted or practiced. Even in cases where female traditional leaders are Chiefs and not Queen Mothers, their authority is undermined by their male counterparts. The normal practice in Ghana is to see Queen Mothers involved in community governance but has limited role in the land governance in their area.
It is in this regard that Colandef, in partnership with the Wellspring Philanthropic Fund is implementing a one-year project called RAPAFEL on the theme ‘Advocacy for the Participation and Representation of Female Traditional Leaders in Land Policy Discussions in Ghana’.
Speaking in an interview with Atinka News, Executive Director and Founder of Colandef, Nana Ama Yirrah explained that the project seeks for the recognition of the role of female Traditional Leaders and their involvement in customary land governance and participation in national level land policy discussions. It is expected that under this project, there will be a stronger and structured institutional arrangement for the representation and voice of Female Traditional Leaders in Ghana while increasing their capacity in the area of national policy processes.
Nana Ama Yirrah indicated that the project focus include analysis and documentation of current legal status of Female Traditional Leaders in customary land governance.
According to her the participation of queen mothers in land issues will also help reduce the rate of land disputes that occur in their areas and also aid in the development of their traditional areas.
After several deliberations, all the queen mothers came to an agreement that indeed there is the need for the capacity building of queen mothers as it can help increase their confidence and also help them know some policies governing their lands not only at national levels but also at their local levels.
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