Law Lecturer makes case for inclusion of Gender and Law in all training modules at faculties

She spoke as part of a panel, discussing the role men can play as allies in achieving gender equality in Ghana.

Is allowance instantly strangers applauded

Lecturer at the University of Ghana School of Law, Ms. Maameyaa Mensa-Bonsu says every teaching module at law faculties should have a Gender and the Law component.

She argues that even though the law faculties have an elective course on Gender and Law, often times it seems alienated from the ‘serious’ components of the coursework. 

“There are so many opportunities for gender-inclusive training. At the School of Law, it’s not enough for you to have a module on Gender and the Law. It also gives the impression that it’s a separate thing, it has nothing to do with the more serious law. So you’ll have a really small class that comes to learn Gender and the Law. So I think that every module should actually have a Gender and the Law component. Because every area of the law has gender issues in it,”

She spoke as part of a panel, discussing the role men can play as allies in achieving gender equality in Ghana. 

The event was organized by the Institute of African Women in Law, in collaboration with the Ghana Bar Association Women Forum.

Explaining further, she adds that even in other areas like Contract law and Taxation, gender questions do ensue. 

“For example, in Contract law, we teach Intention To Create Legal Relations, and then we talk about Balfour and  Balfour, we talk about in the domestic setting, there’s no intention, that’s a gender question. Because between a husband and a wife, why isn’t there an issue like that, and what is the relationship between the wife in  Balfour and  Balfour and the wife in Abebrese v. Kaah, where the court said that the ordinary incidence of commerce don’t apply in the marriage. So in Abebrese v. Kaah, it worked to the benefit of the wife, but not in Balfour and Balfour. Those are gender questions that ought to be interrogated," she said.

She also noted that sometimes the law on paper creates an idea of gender equality but in practice, it does not. This was similarly shared by panel member Justice Jones Dotse. 

“People don’t think gender and taxation are related at all. But there are so many issues there. When you say that parents can claim a relief for two or more children, you have created a gender question here. Because if that one child, is a child with disabilities, that one child costs more than three children together. Most likely in this country, the child with disabilities is cared for by the mother and not the father. 

So when you say we have to have two children before you can claim relief, that mother with the child with disability is completely disadvantaged. And that is a gender question, and that is in taxation. So when you are teaching taxation, there should be gender issues in taxation. So that we are able to relate more with the practical things in different areas of life. Lawyers come out, realizing that everything we do has a gender component, and we are able to bring that into our work.”