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‘Stop Abuses Against Alleged Witches’   
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Ms. Zenabu Sakibu, the Coordinator of the Southern Sector Youth and Women’s Empowerment Network (SOSYWEN), has called for a National Programme to eradicate the human rights abuses perpetrated against those who are accused of witchcraft.

She maintained that action must be taken to help these women who have been stigmatized and banished to “witches’ camps” and re-integrate them into society. In certain parts of the Northern Region, poor and vulnerable women are often accused of causing natural disasters such as diseases, poor harvest, and death through witchcraft. They are banished, beaten, abused and sometimes killed.

SOSYWEN has recently organized a month-long series of stakeholder consultations and workshops in the Yendi, Nanumba (Bimbilla) and West Mamprusi Districts of the Northern Region, aiming to alleviate these women. The discussions included over 100 participants from traditional authorities, District Assemblies, the security services, selected government department, religious bodies, Non-Governmental Organizations and women’s groups, as well as some alleged witches.

Ms. Zenabu Sakibu explained that while education and advocacy will be the primary focus of SOSYWEN, the organization will also help register banished women to benefit from the National Health Insurance Scheme and provide mattresses to the inmates of the “witches’ camps.”
J.S Daspal, the representative of the Chief of Gambaga in the Mamprusi West District, also called for financial support from international donors, the government, and District Assemblies for the traditional authority in recognition of services they provide to alleged witches fleeing persecution, including sanctuaries, shelter food.
Source: Today

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