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CEO tasks government to discard negative cultural practices

2010-10-27 22:58:30
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The Chief Executive Officer of ActionAid International, an NGO, Madam Joanna Kerr, has appealed to the government to pay attention to changing the cultural mind-set of the people in some parts of the Northern Region against the belief in witchcraft.

She said the government must use appropriate media and other means of communication to sensitize the people to discard such negative cultural practices.

Madam Kerr, who is on a visit to country, said this when she visited the Gnani Witches Camp in the Yendi District.

The camp has a population of 949 alleged witches made up of 269 women and 51 men.

There are also 629 children who entered the camp with their mothers and grandmothers.

Madam Kerr appealed to the government to make land accessible to women by abolishing of the traditional land tenure system to give more opportunity to women.

She suggested to the government to apportion 40 per cent of political leadership to women particularly the district assemblies and said women were less corruptible and could workhard to improve the lives of people especially the poor.

Madam Kerr expressed concern about teachers’ absenteeism from schools and noted that if the government did not do anything about it, there might be more investment in education but this might not yield any positive results.

She assured the alleged witches and wizards that ActionAid would continue to work to protect their rights including efforts at returning them to their original communities.

"This may take time since we have to sensitize your communities against the belief in witchcraft."

The Northern Regional Minister, Hon. Moses Bukari Mabengba said the belief in witchcraft was mainly a cultural practice and efforts were being made to address such a negative practice.

He commended ActionAid for its innovative interventions that had contributed to the improvement in the lives of many people.

Most of the children living in the camp are deprived of education because there are no schools in the camp and some told the GNA that they were brought to the camp based on accusations by people in their communities.


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