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Shocking! How Parent In West And Central Africa Iron Their Daughters Bre@st Just To Keep Them Away From Men.
For approximately 3.8 million girls around the world, the start of adolescence brings with it a practice called “br£@st ironing.” When these girls start showing signs of puberty, mothers begin “ironing” their br£@sts, using heated tools like stones, spatulas, and pestles to pound or massage their chests, in an attempt to prevent them from developing.
The practice is also known as “br£@st flattening” or “br£@st sweeping”. In order to prevent girls’ br£@sts from growing, mothers may also wrap bandages tightly around their daughters’ chests. “Br£@st ironing,” like “female genital mutilation” is a practice that has been perpetuated for the “good” of girls.
Prevalent in Cameroon and other African immigrant communities in the United Kingdom, br£@st ironing or flattening – also known as br£@st sweeping in South Africa – is taken lightly when it is clearly a harmful practice.
It is practiced mainly in West and Central Africa – Benin, Chad, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea-Conakry, Kenya, Togo, and Zimbabwe – mothers or female relatives usually use hard or heated objects to flatten the br£@sts.
The heat melts the fat in the br£@sts and flattens them with time. The “good” motive behind this cruel practice was to protect girls from unwanted sexual advances, early pregnancies, and early marriages.
However, br£@st ironing has rather caused more harm than good, like Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) which has been outlawed in almost every country in Africa.
The German development agency GIZ and the National Network of Aunties (RENATA), a Cameroon-based nongovernmental organization, where Cathy AbahFouda works, found out that 25 per cent of the 5,000 girls and women interviewed in a 2005 survey had been subjected to some form of br£@st ironing.
The painful process often subjects girls to emotional trauma and tissue damage which can have long-term effects on them. Some women end up having one br£@st bigger than the other.
No effort has been made in Cameroon to curb the practice whose motive is ineffective as flattened br£@sts have not reduced the rate of teenage pregnancies and rape incidents.
This is Africa
What are your thoughts on this harmful practice?