Women at the bench: Does it make a difference?

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

Authors

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

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.35295/osls.iisl/0000-0000-0000-1175

Keywords:

Gender, Ghana, judging, spousal property, women judges

Abstract

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.

 

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

        Metrics

Views 194
Downloads:
13(3)_Addadzi_Koom_Nkansah_OSLS 199
XML_13(3)_Addadzi_Koom_Nkansah_OSLS 169


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

References

Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.

Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct, 2002. The Bangalore Draft Code of Judicial Conduct 2001 adopted by the Judicial Group on Strengthening Judicial Integrity, as revised at the Round Table Meeting of Chief Justices held at the Peace Palace, The Hague, November 25-26 [online]. United Nations. Available from: https://www.unodc.org/pdf/crime/corruption/judicial_group/Bangalore_principles.pdf [Accessed 26 January 2021].

Bertha Wilson, B., 1990. Will women judges really make a difference? Osgoode hall law journal, 28(3), 507–522.

Committee of Experts (Constitution), 1991. Report of the Committee of Experts (Constitution) on proposal for a draft constitution of Ghana presented to the PNDC [online]. Available from: http://ir.parliament.gh/handle/123456789/1546 [Accessed 27 January 2021].

Constitutional Review Commission, 2011. From a Political to a Developmental Constitution: A Report of the Constitutional Review Commission of Ghana [online]. Available from: https://constitutionnet.org/vl/item/political-developmental-constitution-report-constitutional-review-commission-ghana-2011 [Accessed 26 January 2021].

Dawuni, J.J., 2016. To “Mother” or not to “Mother”: The Representative Roles of Women Judges in Ghana. Journal of African Law [online], 60(3), 419–440. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021855316000115 [Accessed 26 January 2021].

Dawuni, J.J., 2020. Women in Judiciaries Across Africa. In. O. Yacob-Haliso and T. Falola, eds., The Palgrave Handbook of African Women’s Studies [online]. Palgrave, 1–21. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-77030-7_75-1 [Accessed 26 January 2021].

Gilligan, C., 1982. In a different voice: Psychological theory and women's development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Grossman N., 2012. Sex on the Bench: Do Women Judges Matter to the Legitimacy of International Courts? Chicago Journal of International Law [online], 12(2), 647–685. Available from: https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1773015 [Accessed 26 January 2021].

Judicial Service of Ghana, 2011. Code of Conduct for Judges and Magistrates [online]. Accra: Judicial Service of Ghana. Available from: http://www.judicial.gov.gh/index.php/explore/code-of-conduct-for-judges-and-magistrates [Accessed 26 January 2021].

Kuenyehia, A. and Ofei-Aboagye, E., 1998. Family law in Ghana and its implications for women. In A. Kuenyehia ed. Women and law in West Africa: Situational analysis of some key issues affecting women. Legon: Women and Law in West Africa, 23–61.

Malleson, K., 2003. Justifying gender equality on the bench: Why difference won’t do. Feminist legal studies [online], 11(1), 1–24. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1023231006909 [Accessed 26 January 2021].

Mensah Sarbah, J.,1968. Fanti customary laws, 1904: A brief introduction to principles of the native laws and customs of the Fanti and Akan districts of the Gold Coast, with a Report of Some Cases Thereon Decided in the Law Courts. Bristol: Cass.

Shery, S., 1986. The Gender of Judges. Law and inequality [online], 4(1), 159–169. Available from: http://scholarship.law.vanderbilt.edu/faculty-publications/366

Tamale, S., 2018. When Hens Begin to Crow: Gender and Parliamentary Politics in Uganda. New York: Routledge.

Published

01-06-2023

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.