Women at the bench: Does it make a difference?

Assessing the impact of women judges in addressing gender-based issues in Ghana


  • Maame Efua Addadzi-Koom Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
  • Lydia A. Nkansah Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology




Gender, Ghana, judging, spousal property, women judges


The impact of women judges in addressing gender-based issues, particularly in Africa, is largely under-researched both at the regional and country-specific levels. This paper researches on the impact of women judges in selected gender-based cases in Ghana – that is spousal property rights cases. The paper seeks to answer the primary question: in addressing spousal property rights in Ghana, have women at the bench made a difference? In answering this question, a doctrinal analysis of purposively selected cases was conducted which led to a finding that women judges did not make a difference in the development of the law on spousal property rights in Ghana. The findings and recommendations made in this paper are expected to contribute to the understanding of how female participation in judging gender-based cases have influenced and could potentially influence the interests and rights of women as well as to inform the policy choice of women judges.



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Author Biographies

Maame Efua Addadzi-Koom, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

Maame Efua Addadzi-Koom is a lecturer at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi Ghana. She is currently a PhD Candidate in Law at University of Cape Town, South Africa. Faculty of Law, KNUST, Private Mail Bag, Kumasi Ghana, West Africa. Email address: maameeakoom@gmail.com

Lydia A. Nkansah, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

Lydia A. Nkansah is Associate Professor of Law and Dean, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. Kumasi, Ghana, West Africa. Faculty of Law, KNUST, Private Mail Bag, Kumasi Ghana. Email address: ntowahaponk@yahoo.com


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How to Cite

Addadzi-Koom, M. E. and Nkansah, L. A. (2023) “Women at the bench: Does it make a difference? : Assessing the impact of women judges in addressing gender-based issues in Ghana”, Oñati Socio-Legal Series, 13(3), pp. 1141–1162. doi: 10.35295/osls.iisl/0000-0000-0000-1175.