Feminist Legal Studies

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 263–279 | Cite as

“Why Don’t They Change?” Law Reform, Tradition and Widows’ Rights in Ghana



Widows form a sub-set of an already beleaguered gendered minority in societies where law is but one of a competing number of social orders. This can render widows vulnerable and often outside the protection of State law and at the behest of (discriminatory) customary laws. Ghana enacted the Intestate Succession Law 1985 (P.N.D.C.L.111) to grant widows the right to inherit from the estate of the deceased. However, the law has had little impact. Personal narrative analysis was used to ascertain the reasons for this through interviews conducted with widows. Proposals are then made as to how law reform can promote and effect gender equality.


Gender equality Ghana Law reform Legal pluralism Intestacy Personal narrative analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Law and Social SciencesUniversity of East LondonLondonUK

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