Most people in Ghana believe in witchcraft and other mystical forces that can’t be proven by a scientific research. Women, especially elderly widows are mostly accused of possessing strange spirit at the detriment of the innocent. The suspected witches are subjected to inhumane treatment and abusive culture. The stigma, physical assaults, emotional and physiological abuse these vulnerable women endure are unacceptable and unjustifiable.
In most cases, they segregate the “witches” from the masses and accommodate them at an enclosed area call witch camp. There are several witch camps in Ghana which are usually located in Northern region. Gambaga, Gnani and Naabuli are the notable witch camps in the country.
Today, April 24, 2021 the Australian High Commissioner to Ghana, His Excellency Gregory Andrews, has expressed his concerns regarding the inhumane treatment suspected witches endure in various witch camps in Ghana.
According to him, he doesn’t care if people choose to believe in superstitious doctrines or philosophy. But he cares if women are abused in the name of witchcraft and other unsubstantiated powers. He believes that such acts violate the human rights of these women and can be classified as gender based violence.
Moreover, he urged citizens to respect and love these elderly women than to chastise, abuse and stereotype them for unsubstantiated spiritual status.
“I don’t care if people choose to believe in so-called witches. But I do care a lot if they choose to use their superstitions to abuse and exclude elderly women. That’s Gender Based Violence. Like everyone, Africa’s elderly deserve love and respect”, he said.
He wrote this on his Facebook page today.
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