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Witchcraft: a Targeted Societal Discrimination Against Women in Northern Ghana

Description: A combination of aging and poverty is becoming dominant in African society today, at a time when African countries are expected to be recovering from poverty, and are projected to house the economic growth of the next century. The emergence of aging in African context and the aging of the world population will expose the weakness of the current mechanisms used for older people around the world. As economies grow around the world, the distribution gap between the affluent and the poor widens, and the constant struggles for wealth, power, and social status, amidst scarce resources, continue to be sustained. To remain in charge of economic resources, the powerful few devise means to disenfranchise the weak, and witchcraft accusation is one of such tools used in Northern Ghana today. A new wave of witchcraft accusation has caught the attention of many in Northern Ghana. These victims with certain socioeconomic characteristics appear helpless and without defense against such accusations. As a result, they suffer untold hardships and are often compelled to leave their homes and to reside in camps reserved for witches. This study was undertaken to identify those sociodemographic characteristics, which are commonly shared by witchcraft accusation victims. These sociodemographic characteristics can be used to predict those who are most likely to be discriminated against using accusations of witchcraft in Northern Ghana. As age places more strain on existing systems and as more people survive into old age with inadequate healthcare, more accusations may be predicted to occur against the elderly, unless enough government intervention is used to address the present redistribution of income in third world countries.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Atumah, Oscar Nwagbo