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Elderly women suffer witchcraft accusations

17 June 2014, 12:52

Nairobi - Kenya is among more than 40 countries in the continent and Asia where witchcraft accusations are used to justify extreme violence against older women.

This is according to a report the United Nations has just released.

Burkina Faso, Cameroon, India,   Malawi, Nepal and Tanzania are the countries where women, mainly older ones are targeted.

The report concludes that older women are at particular risk due to widespread discriminatory attitudes and practices.

The UN also says that the abuse of elderly people might increase with time.

“And the incidence of abuse towards older people is predicted to increase as many countries are experiencing rapidly ageing populations,” said the UN report.

The report stated that the main forms used for categorizing abuse of older persons include: neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse and financial abuse or exploitation.

“The global population of people aged 60 years and older is expected to more than double, from 542 million in 1995 to about 1.2 billion in 2025,” stated the UN report.

It added that the share of older persons (aged 60 years or older) in the total population increased from 9 percent in 1994 to 12 percent in 2014, and is expected to reach 21 percent by 2050.

Previously, UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has called on member states to enact and enforce stronger laws and strategies to address all aspects of this under-acknowledged social, public health and human rights issue.

 – CAJ News

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