Changing the Dowry System – Ghana

In the Traditional area of Bawku, in the north of Ghana, the dowry system demanded that any young man wanting to marry had to pay 4 cows to the family of the bride. With a higher population and less resources available this tradition is putting huge pressure on young men and women. The men can’t pay this high price and many young girls are being taken out of school and forced to get married so that the families can get the cows. The local Traditional Council tried to reform this system but with no success until now as most people were reluctant to change the tradition.
Things have begun to change since BEWDA, an NGO dedicated to defend the rights of women, started working on the issue. They work closely with the Traditional Council and ran sensitisation radio campaign and workshop to build a consensus and agree on reducing the number of cows from 4 to 2.

Shot in Ghana, this film is part of a series of 11 stories of change in good governance through the Mwananchi Project . This ODI project, funded by DFID, works to strengthen citizen engagement with governments across six African countries (Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zambia).
The project is managed in Ghana by PDA Ghana,

Filmed and directed by Dominique Chadwick

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