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Close down all witch camps now – CEDAW to government

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Fri, 7 Aug 2020 Source:

Leadership of Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) has called on the Akufo-Addo-led government to, with immediate effect, take the necessary steps to close down all witch camps in the country.

According to the Chairperson of CEDAW, Hilary Gbedemah, ensuring the closure of these camps will permanently deal with the menace of violence and witch hunting against women, particularly in the northern parts of the country.

This call follows recent reports of the brutal lynching of a 90-year-old woman in the Savannah Region on accusations of her being a witch.

The gruesome murder which took place at Kafaba in the East Gonja Municipality has been widely condemned by several Ghanaians who have also called for sanctions against the perpetrators.

Major development in the case indicates that the key perpetrators of the act have been arrested and duly arraigned.

While this action has been applauded by concerned stakeholders and a section of Ghanaians, CEDAW maintains that this will only temporarily water down the probability of reoccurrence hence, the need to close down all camps which operate in name of exposing witches.

Speaking at an event held by the Gender Ministry to find viable solutions to the menace of witch naming and hunting, Hilary Gbedemah said the CEDAW committee “in our concluding observation on the combined sixth and seventh periodic reports on Ghana in 2014…we said we were concerned about the persisting phenomenon of women being accused of witchcraft particularly in the northern, upper eastern, upper western regions of the country...”

She continued, “In the committee, we are asking for a swift closure and this is because this matter has been topical since 2006…2014 this recommendation was repeated, with the greatest respect we cannot wait we want a swift closure, time has passed and therefore this is our position.”

CEDAW has also demanded that government establish a holding centre to take care of alleged witches who are more often than not, old women suffering from several underlying health conditions.

“We ask for rehabilitation and quality education and vocational training…we expect that they are empowered so that they are not left behind…” Ms Gbedemah insisted.

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