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Ghana - Marital Processes And Types Of Marriage

family marriages table law women

The marriage process itself varies among ethnic groups. Also, the type of marriage consummated by a couple often depends on a host of factors, including their socioeconomic status (e.g., formal education, occupation, income, wealth, place of residence), and their family, religious, and ethnic backgrounds. Ghanaian family law recognizes a plurality of marital forms. Throughout the country, customary law marriages, consensual unions, marriages contracted under Islamic rules, and those contracted under the ordinance (civil or church) are all recognized as legal. Of these four types of marriages, marriage under customary or traditional law accounts for most marriage contracts in the country (Table 2).

Although national-level data on type of marriage are not readily available, evidence from small-scale surveys conducted throughout the country indicate that most marriages in Ghana are the traditional type (Gaisie and de Graft Johnson TABLE 2

TABLE 2
Percentage distribution of Ghanaians by form of
marriage contract
  1969a       1992/93b
  Women       Couples  
SOURCE: (a) Gaisie and de Graft Johnson (1976). (b) Couples
data, Oheneba-Sakyi et al (1995).
Form of union  
    Customary only 81.7       69.8
    Ordinance only 0.3       na
    Ordinance/church/Muslim 5.8       18.0
    Mutual consent 11.0       12.2
    Other 0.1       na
    Not reported 1.1       na

1976; Awusabo-Asare 1990; Oheneba-Sakyi et al. 1992; Ardayfio-Schandorf 1995). As indicated in Table 2, although the number of marriages performed under traditional law is declining, they still account for the bulk of all marriages in Ghana. In part, customary law marriages are popular because they are based on traditional norms and beliefs and are often less expensive to contract. Also, unlike marriage under the law, traditional marriage does not have to be monogamous. As a marriage form, the incidence of polygyny varies from somewhere between 20 to 50 percent in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa (Timaues and Reynar 1998). In Ghana during the late 1970s, about one-third of all currently married women were in polygynous unions (Aryee 1985; Gage and Njogu 1994). By the late 1990s, the proportion of women in plural marriages had declined to about 23 percent (Table 3).

TABLE 3

TABLE 3
Percentage distribution of married Ghanaian women by
their type of union
    Survey and year
  GFS GDHS GDHS GDHS
  1979a 1988b 1993b 1998b
SOURCE: GDHS (a) Aryee (1995, Table 1). (b) GDHS, 1988–1999.
Monogamous unions
All women 65.4 67.1 72.3 77.3
    Urban residents 68.2 71.4 78.5 84.3
    Rural residents 64.1 65.2 69.3 74.2
Polygamous unions
All women 34.6 32.9 27.7 22.6
    Urban residents 31.8 28.6 21.5 15.7
    Rural residents 35.9 34.7 30.6 25.8
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almost 3 years ago

where can i see a copy of a ghanaian customary certificate

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about 3 years ago

if i am in united states and over the phone i said i do to marry ghana women who i do not see and shes living ghana still..is it legal in the united states..and am i under any obligation to her..thank you me

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over 3 years ago

is it custom for there to be a wedding if the groom is in the united states and she is in ghana, and if that is possiable would that be legal in the u.s.

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about 4 years ago

why r ppl backing off our traditional marriages,is there any thing bad about it,or is it not really recognised as the weeding on the same level.why do ppl value the weeding ceremoney to the tradition msrriag n is that true that shd be the best option to ones marriagr.

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almost 2 years ago

how are properties shared under marriage of ordinance without will

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about 3 years ago

what the law say a bout

marriage in Ghana

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over 3 years ago

Can you confirm the procedure for a Ga customary divorce, and what evidence would be required for this to be recognised in Britain.

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about 3 years ago

Please i want to know the list parent prepare for their in-low to buy for the engagement

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over 3 years ago

what is the role of marriage to national development in ghana?

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almost 4 years ago

i meant my man about 4years ago and we decided to get married but since both of us did not have any parent alive he got a ring and vowed before me and he put the ring on my finger can this be recognized as marriage please advice me because i now have a child with him.

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about 4 years ago

Is it really compulsory to marry the traditional way depending on whether or not that it is the couples background because people have different ways of life and so are their marriage plans?

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2 months ago

If there are no legal documents involved in a Ghanian marriage, what is the process of divorce?

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over 2 years ago

ur research have actually provided factual n accurate info of marriages contracted in Ghanaian society.
God richly bless u more more

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over 1 year ago

I am ask to have a triditional cerimony in Ghana.
Is this a legal document or does it mean much.I am allready legaly married. Does this become a problem of any kind if it is done




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almost 2 years ago

What is the procedure for contracting a marriage under the ordinance in ghana?

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over 2 years ago

ur research have actually provided factual n accurate info of marriages contracted in Ghanaian society.
God richly bless u more more

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about 3 years ago

HELLO,