Land tenure regimes for women in Community Resource Management Areas (CREMAs) in Northern Ghana: Opportunities and threats

Frank Akowuge Dugasseh*, Clement Aapengnuo, Marianne Zandersen

*Corresponding author for this work

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This paper analyses women’s access and security to land under customary land governance in Community
Resource Management Areas (CREMAs) in Northern Ghana through document analyses and surveys of 312 land
right holders and tenants from 13 communities. The key interest is to investigate the potential for combining
customary land practices with land title registration and education in improving women’s economic empowerment
and social development in the Dorimon and Zukpiri CREMAs. The paper focuses on the motivation of
land right holders to grant land rights to women through land use agreements and reasons for terminating such
agreements, and provides critical perspectives and data to support the development of tenure security indicators
for community protected agro-ecological areas. The study also assesses the position of women in anticipation of
forest carbon credits as against their current land holding rights and concludes that despite inherent weaknesses
of customary land governance in protected areas, opportunities exist to scale up and expand the formalisation of
land use rights through CREMAs, education and the use of Voluntary Savings and Loans Association to enable
women gain access to sufficient land. This could significantly help improve women smallholder farmers’ tenure
security to land, provide livelihood options, enhance food security and ensure their participation and profit from
entering into result based ecosystem payment scheme such as REDD+.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105602
JournalLand Use Policy
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Land rights
  • tenure security
  • Evolutionary Theory of Land Rights
  • REDD+


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