Tanzania: More than 700 Women Killed as Witches in 2013

Local non-governmental organizations in Tanzania recently released a report alleging more than 700 women were murdered as a result of witchcraft accusations in 2013. Many people in sub-Saharan Africa, including 64% of Tanzanians, believe in witchcraft, which is often classified as an official crime. In addition to murder, witchcraft allegations can result in social abandonment, extreme poverty, and other forms of violence against women. Accusations generally target women who defy social norms or who are viewed as vulnerable. This would include elderly women, unmarried women without children and young widowed women with property a deceased husband’s family may want to reclaim.


Compiled from: Agence France Presse, Murder and magic as Tanzania tackles ‘witchcraft’ killingsDaily Mail (January 23, 2015); Witchcraft Accusations Perpetuate Women’s Oppression in Sub-Saharan AfricaAssociation for Women’s Rights in Development (February 27, 2015).