In Burkina Faso we work with partners to:
- empower older women to realise their rights and access benefits
- provide emotional support to women living in refuges as a result of witchcraft accusations
- advocate for better laws to protect marginalised women.
We do this in a range of ways. For example in Ouagadougou and Yako, we provide emotional support and improved water and sanitation facilities to socially excluded women living in refuge centres.
And in Arbolle and Thema Bokin in Passore province, we run a rights program in 14 villages.
Last year in 2011, we trained 60 paralegal clubs with a total of 600 members as a part of our women's rights program. These paralegals work on individual cases of abuse or illegal practices against older women. They also mobilize community campaigns to challenge the social exclusion of the violence against women. Although the process of changing these practices is slow, we are seeing positive effects. For example, these campaigns caused the Chief of the Moora tribe to issue a statement denouncing witchcraft accusations and to call on other traditional leaders to do the same.
The difference we made in 2009-10
- 60 paralegals have helped community members access benefits and services.
- 100 women accused of witchcraft and girls who are victims of forced marriage have received emotional support. Nine older women accused of witchcraft have been reintegrated into their families.
- 240 people have undergone literacy training.
- The Ministry of Social Action and National Solidarity, the police and refuge centres will now collect data on human rights violations of women.
- Through our partner, Promo-Femmes Development Solidarite (PFDS), we are going to try and influence a national government bill, which is being drafted in November, to stop witchcraft accusations.
Promo-Femmes Development Solidarite (PFDS), Burkina Faso Red Cross, Association de la Promotion de la Femme et de l'Enfant (APF), TOCSIN