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  • Writer's pictureGROOT


Breast flattening or Breast ironing.

This practice has been sadly practiced in Nigeria, Togo, Republic of Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire, Kenya and Zimbabwe. Additionally it has been found in other African countries including Burkina Faso, Central African Republic (CAR), Benin, and Guinea-Conakry.Breast "sweeping" has been reported in south Africa; not in Egypt or the Middle East, but it does happen in some places, the most famous of which is now Cameroon.

The most widely used implement for breast ironing is a wooden pestle normally used for pounding tubers. Other tools used include leaves, bananas, coconut shells, grinding stones, ladles, spatulas, and hammers heated over coals. The ironing practice is generally performed around dusk or dawn in a private area such as the household kitchen to prevent others from seeing the victim or becoming aware of the process, particularly fathers or other male figures.

The massaging process could occur anywhere between one week to several months, depending on the victim's refusal and the resistance of the breasts; in cases where the breasts appear to be consistently protruding, the ironing practice may occur more than once a day for these weeks or months at a time.

Breast ironing might be derived from the ancient practice of breast massage. Breast massage aims to help even out different breast sizes and reduce the pain of nursing mothers by massaging the breast with warm objects.

The reason women do this to young girls is because they are afraid of getting married early, but flattening the breast is not the solution to stopping early marriage for young girls.

These actions are wrong and never solve the problem.

It can be clarified to talk about the negative effects of this act, including the physical and psychological effects.

Physical conditions such as breast cancer, tissue damage, warts and later breastfeeding problems.

Psychic such as depression and loss of self-confidence. According to the statistic, there are more than 40% of women in Cameroon now refusing breast flattening.

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