As the world marked International Women’s’ Day Sunday, close to 500 women still live in ‘witches camps’ in Ghana.
They are condemned to a life of eternal bondage. Some were chased out of their native villages on accusations as little as speaking when men are speaking at public gatherings.
Four of such camps remain after two were closed down by government in 2015 and 2019 following years of campaigning led by Actionaid Ghana.
The subject of Ghana’s witches’ camps, and the children who live with these women, are the focus of JoyNews’ latest Hotline Documentary, Serving the Witches.
We asked five of the women we met while filming for this documentary what International Womens’ Day means to them.
Here’s what they said.
“I was a successful businesswoman before I came into this camp. I lost it all the day I was called a witch. I hope no one has to go through what I have gone through”…MMA AZEERA
“I wish I could go to my hometown again before I die,” TIIG BAKPO “Life is tough here. Sometimes even food is a problem. We can go for days without food”… MMA ANIIGA
“No one liked me in my village because everyone thought I talk too much. Even when men are talking, I also talk”…MMA JAPOL
“We can do so many things; like selling and farming but because there’s no money we sit idle. I wish we could do something”…MMA ZIEM