GhanaHuman RightsNews

Gender Ministry to close down witch camps, says deputy minister

Freda Prempeh calls on Ghana’s development partners to assist the government in working to close down all witch camps and reintegrate inmates into society

Ghana News Agency (Accra) – The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection is working tirelessly to control outmoded and harmful cultural practices inimical to the well-being of women and girls in the country, Freda Prempeh, the deputy minister in the department, has said.

She said the Ministry of Gender required active support from the country’s development partners, traditional and religious institutions to close down all identifiable witches’ camps and successfully reintegrate the inmates into the society.

She however lauded police officials for the swift investigation and the arrests made so far in connection with the murder of a 90-year-old woman at Kafaba in the East Gonja District of the Savanah Region.

The deceased woman, Akua Denteh, was accused of witchcraft and lynched by some people in the town.

Role of traditional rulers

Mrs Prempeh expressed the hope that the police would speed up prosecution of the suspects involved in the incident.

“It is very unfortunate that the aged are always wrongly accused as witches when they demonstrate menopausal symptoms and health issues such as dementia and schizophrenia, or have accidents. This is extremely unacceptable and we must nail it down,” she said in an interview with the GNA at Duayaw-Nkwanta in the Ahafo Region.

“Even kids who seem to be geniuses and assertive in this contemporary society of ours are branded witches,” she said. “This affects their proper upbringing and development and we will not sit unconcerned for this to continue.”

Mrs Prempeh said that traditional rulers, religious and opinion leaders, as the embodiment of the people, have enormous responsibilities to help control the surging human rights abuses and violations among women and girls in society.

“Sadly, activities of some self-styled prophets, prophetesses and soothsayers are seriously disintegrating families. The government needs support from chiefs, queens and religious leaders to nip in the bud all these unscrupulous activities and dishonest prophesies.”

Mrs Prempeh called on the media and all stakeholders to be on the watch, and report all forms of domestic violence against women and girls to relevant institutions for the necessary action to be taken.

* Asaase Radio 99.5 – tune in or log on to broadcasts online.

Ghana News Agency
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