Academic Papers: Women

Malawi – Researched and compiled by the Refugee Documentation Centre of Ireland, 9 December 2013

Information on witchcraft including treatment of those who are perceived to be witches. Are children of perceived witches targeted? How do the police treat such cases?

See full report here

List of issues in relation to the second periodic report of Nepal: Human Rights Committee, 21 August 2013

List of issues in relation to the second periodic report of Nepal:

1. Constitutional and legal framework within which the Covenant is implemented

2. Non-discrimination, equality between men and women, rights of minorities and indigenous peoples

3. Violence against women, including domestic violence

4. Right to life and prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment

……

See full report here here

Training Sessions on Human and Women’s Rights to address Violence against Persons accused of Witchcraft in the Central African Republic, October 2012

Hundreds of people – mostly women – in the Central African Republic are accused every year of practicing witchcraft. “Witches” are often accused of causing a wide range of misfortunes such as infected toes, collapsed granary roofs, and even bad weather. Witchcraft is included as a crime in the country’s penal code (even punishable by execution), which is rarely contested given that the belief in witches as a source of several misfortunes is deeply embedded in the Central African Republic’s society.
Women, particularly old single women, and girls who are accused of witchcraft are often subject to SGBV. Due to cultural stigmas and lack of knowledge on basic rights, SGBV cases are often not reported, consequently leaving survivors/victims unassisted and perpetrators unpunished.

See full report here

Hunting Witches – World Policy Journal Article by WHRIN

Article by Gary Foxcroft, Executive Director, WHRIN. Read full article here 

WHRIN 2014 Country Report: Witchcraft Accusations and Persecution in Nepal

Joint report with Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales and Forum for Protection of People’s Rights (PPR Nepal). Launched at National Women’s Commission in Kathmandu, Nepal, April 2014. See full report here

Here Be Witches! – World Policy Journal

While witchcraft may seem like a curious relic of a less scientific era, for millions across the globe, the spirit realm continues to play a significant role in day-to-day life—and sometimes with fatal consequences.  See full report here 

Ghana: What makes a woman a witch?

The following article explores how women come to be labelled as a witch.  It argues that women who do not fall under the direct “control” of a man, or are economicallysuccessful, or childless, or without appropriate familial protection, or in competition for scarce resources, can all too easily become targets for gossip and jealousy. This in turn means that in the event of some kind of community disaster, these women then bear the brunt of local projections and accusations of witchcraft. In other words, it is those who do not conform strictly enough with local patriarchal regimes who are vulnerable to such accusations. Full article here.

Religion, Democracy and Civil Society: The case of ‘witches’ in Ghana

This presentation highlights the plight of women accused of witchcraft and proposes measures which can be taken to safeguard their fundamental human rights. Read here.

Nepal: A study of cultural violence against women with reference to nepal and india

The research paper analyzes the phenomena of witch-hunting in Nepal and India within the broader context of violence against women. Considering the case studies, in Nepal, it is found most of the incidents have occurred in the Terai region and the victims of witchcraft allegations have been mostly women from the marginalized, poor and ethnic communities. In India, women from tribal communities and widows have been targeted. It is generally seen that causes behind this specific type of violence are superstition and belief in witchcraft reinforced by the presence of people like shamans and witch-doctors and their influence on illiterate (and often
fatalistic) communities. This reseach also explores other underlying causes of witch hunting in these countries. See full article here. 

Cultural Denial: What South Africa’s Treatment of Witchcraft says for the Future of its Customary Law

The following article examines the treatment of witchcraft under customary law and common law, both historically and under the new legal order, and analyses the implications this comparison reveals. See full article here