Witchcraft Accusations and Female Homicide Victimization in Contemporary Ghana

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Abstract

The goal of this article is to enhance awareness of witchcraft-related femicides. In Ghana, stereotypes abound of elderly women as witches. In some instances, suspicions or accusations of witchcraft are followed by lethal or nonlethal assault of the supposed witch. This article examines witch beliefs in Ghana and analyzes 13 incidents of homicide committed against women accused of witchcraft during 1995 to 2001. The author presents a gender-based analysis of witchcraft accusations that contextualizes witch murders as a form of gender discrimination. The results indicate that appreciation of the social and cultural contexts, as well as the status of women in the society, is crucial in developing an understanding of witch-related femicides in Ghanaian society. Suggestions, for reducing witch-related violence in Ghana are offered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-356
Number of pages32
JournalViolence Against Woman
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2004

Keywords

  • Ghana
  • Homicide
  • Violence
  • Witchcraft
  • Women

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