Ghana women rebuilding lives after ‘witch camp’ stay

bbc

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Women in northern Ghana who have been accused of witchcraft are slowly reintegrating back into society after they were banished into isolated camps.

The practice of isolating women accused of witchcraft has been made illegal.

The accusations sometimes come when misfortune befalls an area. Women who do not conform to society’s expectations have also been accused of witchcraft

Isolation camps had been set up by local community leaders to provide a safe haven for alleged witches. However, their freedom of movement was highly restricted.

Sixty-year-old Chilenja Bijabaye from Naboli, in northern Ghana, was not accepted back into her community after a camp where she lived was closed down. Her son decided to build her a home elsewhere.

“We sent my mother to our community and the elders said no, once she has been accused of witchcraft, she can’t come back and stay there.

“I want my mother to survive and live, so I decided to build a home for my mother,” her son Njobo Azika told the BBC.

For the past five years, the non-governmental organisation Action Aid in collaboration with Ghana’s Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice and other partners have been working to close all the camps in northern Ghana but, so far, they have only managed to close down a third of them.

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