Violence Against Aged Women: Implication of Witchcraft Label in South-Eastern Nigeria

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 10:45
Oral Presentation
Scholastica ATATA, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria
Of what essence is graceful aging and growing old to the Nigerian society? Belief in existence of witchcraft has remained a strong phenomenon in our society today. It cuts across the Nigerian society, gender and age group but mostly associated with old women, thus old age is synonymous with witchcraft. This phenomenon against every other societal problem increases the level of violence and mortality in places where witchcraft believe/practice is prevalent. Thus the need curb this menace becomes inevitable. This study is descriptive and twenty interviews were conducted with aged women who are victims of violence associated to witchcraft label and their relatives using qualitative methods of data collection (Key Informant Interview and In-Depth Interview). The interviewees were selected using purposive and snowballing methods while the data collected were analysed using ethnographic content analysis. The findings show how aged women when been labelled a witch are subjected to different forms of dehumanized violence such as, dejection, battering that result to death. This study suggests that laws should be made to protect aged people especially women against this witchcraft label, abuse and to defend their human rights in the Nigerian society.