A serious eye opener, our film for SOSYWEN was screened on Ghana TV as a tool for human rights education.
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.
Produced by Zoe Young
In the 1970s, the Endorois people of Kenya’s Rift Valley were forced from their land to make way for the Lake Bogoria National Reserve. In 2010, they won their case before the African Commission on Peoples’ and Human Rights, creating a major legal precedent for the Right to Development and recognising indigenous people’s rights over traditional lands and resources.
More information available from the Minority Rights Group International:minorityrights.org/9587/press-releases/landmark-decision-rules-kenyas-removal-of-indigenous-people-from-ancestral-land-illegal.html
This clip was edited by Zoe Young from two earlier films, and screened at the United Nations OHCHR Social Forum, marking 25 Years of the Right to Development:ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Poverty/SForum/Pages/SForum2011.aspx.