The Member of Parliament (MP) for Afadzato South District in the Volta region, Angela Oforiwaa Alorwu-Tay has called for the ban of witch camps in Ghana, specifically in the northern parts of the country.
In a press statement on this year's International Women's Day Celebration, Ms Alorwu-Tay bemoaned that, an existence of witches camp in this era is worrisome hence the government must consider a roadmap to end such canker.
" I cannot end this International Women’s Day statement without talking about an issue that really breaks my heart; the continuous operation of witch camps in 21st Century Ghana. I saw a documentary on the operations of these camps on TV recently and I was appalled by the conditions they live in, such facilities deprive women of their rights to develop fully and freely and ends depriving their children of education, good health and proper sanitation. Sadly, a lot of the about 1,000 women who find themselves in the about six witch camps at Boyansi, Gambaga, Gnani, Kpatinga, Kokuo and Naabuli are innocent widows who have been wrongly accused of murders they didn’t commit," she said.
In Northen Ghana, especially in Yendi, Nanumba South, Gushegu and Nanumba South districts, witchcraft accusations are very common, with more than four witch camps in these areas, where alleged witches have been isolated.
According to the MP, such camps deprive women of development and infringe on their human rights.
She said, although successive governments have tried to put a stop to the operations of the camps, there is more to do. She asked the President, Nana Akufo-Addo and the Gender Ministry to use this year's celebration to draw a roadmap to ending the operation of the witch camps.
"Again, successive leaders have spoken repeatedly about their commitments to get these women re-integrated in their communities so these camps can be disbanded, but sadly, its been a lot of talk. It’s about time leadership walked the talk, President Akufo-Addo and the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection should use this day to give the women of this country what I believe will be the most priceless gift we will be extremely happy to have; a roadmap to re-integrate the women in these witch camps and a systemic disbanding of the camps, never to be resurrected again," she added.
Ms Alorwu-Tay suggested "an establishment of a national taskforce to lead the re-integration and disbanding, a dedicated budget for the taskforce which will be multi–sectorial and decentralised, a reasonable timeframe within which the objectives will be achieved and a comprehensive educational programme to sensitise residents in the various communities where these problems are endemic to desist from such cruel, criminal; and intimidatory acts…these women don’t belong in these camps and we need to have all hands-on deck to get them out as soon as possible."
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