By Marion Aluoch

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5 calls for gender equality and for all women to have equal rights to economic resources, access to ownership and control over land. However, cultural norms and customs can hinder women access to land, fair participation, and equal opportunities.

To meaningfully center on gender issues in land restoration, an innovative study using Gender Transformation Approaches is being undertaken to determine whether changes in harmful gender norms and attitudes would contribute to desirable environmental outcomes. The approach challenges the underlying causes of gender inequality, including exclusionary cultural norms and customs.

The study led by *Gloria Adeyiga as part of the Regreening Africa’s efforts to integrate gender transformation in restoration was carried out in 15 communities in the Bawku West District of the Upper Region of Ghana. A previous baseline study provided information for action design and understood possible ways to balance workload, resource access, and fair decision-making dynamics.

The study underscores the importance of creating an enabling environment for gender transformation and having a well formulated structure to tackle the gender and power relations through proactive and voluntary engagement of men and women. Disrupting the disparity and community dynamics with regards to women and men’s role is an important factor in achieving gender transformation change.

The Gender Transformation Approach identifies factors that enables more equitable involvement of women and girls in decision making, management of resources and enhanced access and control over land. This research provides the needed evidence to build meaningful engagement with structural causes of gender inequality.

Originally published by World Agroforestry

*About the author: Gloria Kukurije Adeyiga is a researcher with the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana, based in Bolgatanga, Upper East Region. She is pursuing her PhD in Agroforestry at the University of Bangor, working on the Regreening Africa project led by ICRAF


About the project

Regreening Africa is a five-year project funded by the European Union (EU), through the European Commission. The project seeks to restore one million hectares and benefit 500,000 households in eight countries, including those under Great Green Wall such as Mali, Niger, Ghana, Senegal, Ethiopia and Somalia. Others include Kenya, Rwanda. By incorporating trees into croplands, communal lands and pastoral areas, regreening efforts make it possible to reclaim Africa’s degraded landscapes.

Regreening Africa is implemented by a consortium of partners comprising of World Agroforestry (ICRAF), World Vision, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), CARE, Oxfam and Sahel Eco. But most important, the project builds on the knowledge, experience and commitment of hundreds of thousands of smallholder farmers in Africa who are keen to turn the deserts and degraded lands into thriving landscapes.

The project directly contributes to the goals of the Great Green Wall initiative and the AFR100 commitments. Its success, and that of other similar initiatives in the region, implies that the ambition of the Great Green Wall (GGW) is gradually becoming a reality.


This story was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Regreening Africa and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.