Tuesday, September 27, 2011

who are you going to blame?

womyn, of course…

i was appalled to read about the so-called ‘witches camps’ in ghana over the weekend… these are essentially concentration camps for womyn accused of 'witchcraft'…



over 1000 womyn and 700 children are currently exiled and living in horrendous conditions in 6 camps in northern ghana - many are elderly women who have been accused of causing death, misfortune, or calamity to their families, neighbours or villages through sorcery, witchcraft, or juju




belief in witchcraft and supernatural powers is common throughout ghana, and other african countries, and is often encouraged by pastors who preach in the nation’s many charismatic churches… according to the european research network on pentecostalism, "pentecostal, or charismatic, christian movements have been in africa for over 100 years and is one of the fastest growing and diverse forms of pentecostalism in the world"… a frightening fact indeed!!!

and a fact made more frightening because apparently some of these pastors take their 'responsibilities' seriously and take an active role in the torture of womyn – this from an article by claire mcdougall in the christian science monitor september 15, 2011 entitled ‘ghana aims to abolish witches’ camps’...

“the brutal murder of 72-year-old Ama Hemmah in the city of Tema in November of last year, allegedly by six people, among them a Pentecostal pastor and his neighbors who are accused of dousing her with kerosene and setting her alight, caused public outrage and made headlines across the world.

In Ghana, we know that when a calamity happens or something befalls a family or a community the question is not what caused it, but rather who caused it?” Anukun-Dabson said. “We are a people who do not take responsibility for our actions; rather we find scapegoats and women are the targets.

the following is from ghana's southern sector youth & women's empowerment network (sosywen)

"Forced to flee their homes and loved ones following false witchcraft accusations, the women in this film face a life of misery, desperate poverty and deplorable living conditions. They won’t see their families again, probably not for the rest of their lives. Many have no idea how many years they’ve spent in the 'witches' camps. And it’s all because of some misfortune of a family member or neighbour, or a dream that someone’s had. The women are blamed for the misfortune, such as a death in the family, economic hardship, even the death of their own child. Once the finger has been pointed and the accusation made, the lynch mobs beat and abuse the accused woman who flees for her life to one of Ghana’s ‘witches’ camps where she believes she may find some protection. The women are stigmatised and outcasts from society.  

This SOSYWEN film shows the desperate poverty these women face, their daily struggles to fetch water and find enough food. They sleep on the bare floor, cold and uncomfortable, exposed to malarial mosquitoes. Some still suffer pains from the beatings they received many years ago. Children, mostly girls, sent to help these elderly women are stigmatised because they live in a ‘witches’ camp. They can’t go to school and they lose all hope for the future. Zenabu Sakibu, Coordinator of the Southern Sector Youth and Women’s Empowerment Network, Ghana, narrates the heart-rending story of these women and children, the abuse and beatings they suffered, why they ended up in the camps, and their daily struggles for survival."



What I used to know: the road to Ghana's 'witches' camps
from sosywen organisation on Vimeo.


outraged? then why not sign the care2 petition here...

misogyny - alive and well and still being 'masqueraded' as religious superstition by powerful men...


2 comments:

Sailor Lily said...

fuck. I can't fucking belive it. I'm crying. will sign the petition. this is apalling.
lily

Proud Womon said...

i wept too lil... it's fucking shameful...