10 April 2018

Cameroon Practice Where Teen Girls Undergo 'Breast Ironing'

Photo: ICIR
Breast Ironing

Breast ironing, otherwise known as breast flattening, is a cultural practice that is particularly practised across all ethnic groups in Cameroon, Africa.

This is especially profound in places like Douala, one of the most populous and largest cities in the country.

Men in this area of the country strongly believe that teenage girls as low as 9 years whose breasts are developing are ripe for sex. In reaction, a mother who cares about her daughter and monitors her daughter's breast growth pounds the breast with hot objects such as a stone, hammer, an umbilical belt or a pestle so that it stops developing. This way, men will find her unattractive and she can pursue her education. True to their plans, pregnancy rate has reduced since 1996.

Made popular in the last 50 years, this practice was initially introduced because it was assumed to help with a woman's breast milk.

At present, 5661 girls have undergone this process.

This problem has only be brought to light in other countries but remains an open secret in places where it is practised.

Due to the global village factor, breast ironing has extended to the UK and nine other countries including Benin, Cote D'Ivoire, Togo.

While the world cries out against it, large majority women are in support of the practice.

There is currently no known extensive research on the implications on iron breasting.


Boko Haram Hinders Demarcation of Nigeria, Cameroon Border - UN

The United Nations, UN, has said the demarcation of the Cameroon-Nigeria border continues to face challenges due to… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2018 The Guardian. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.