Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/26/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Barbaric practice mutilates women in order to keep them chaste

A Medieval, barbaric practice known as "breast ironing" is widely practiced in Cameroon. As many as one in four girls are routinely tortured by female relatives in an ill-advised practice to keep them from inciting male lust.

Breast ironing is widely practiced throughout Cameroon, particularly in the center and west of the country. This practice exists among the rich families -- as well as the poor.

Breast ironing is widely practiced throughout Cameroon, particularly in the center and west of the country. This practice exists among the rich families -- as well as the poor.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/26/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Cameroon, breast ironing, mutilation, body image, tradition


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The practice usually occurs during puberty. Female relatives of the young girl, sometimes even their own mothers, try to make their putative breasts disappear by crushing them. Families believe this "protects" the girls from experiencing their sexuality too soon.
 
Called the "ironing" or "massaging" of the breasts, as it is sometimes euphemistically called, has also been reported in Togo and Guinea.

"A lot of women become worried when their daughter reaches puberty around the age of eight or nine. They consider this to be too early," Executive Secretary of Renata Georgette Arrey Taky says. Renata is a national network of young mothers that teaches sexual education to Cameroonian women.
 
Breast ironing is widely practiced throughout Cameroon, particularly in the center and west of the country. This practice exists among the rich families -- as well as the poor.
 
"The reason why breast ironing is so rooted in our customs is because the mothers who endured it were told by their own mothers that it was to protect them. They therefore repeat the gesture to protect their own daughters. It's a vicious circle that survives through ignorance more than tradition," one survivor says.
 
Many mothers here are concerned when their daughter reaches puberty around the age of eight or nine. They consider this age to be too early and therefore believed that their daughter will attract boys and risk becoming pregnant too early.

Most of the girls are "massaged" when they are 15 or 16 years old. By making their breasts disappear, the mothers believe they can control the girls' effect on men. Dispelling this belief very quickly is the fact that very young mothers also sport ironed breasts. 

Women's rights groups are working to convince parents that effective sex education can only be achieved through dialogue.
 
"Women, usually mothers or aunts, use spatulas, stones and even pestles," one activist says.
 
Spatulas, stones or even pestles are heated up and struck against the developing breast. The strike leads to burns as well as infections and cysts. The long-term consequences are no less detrimental.

According to a few specialists, the victims are more susceptible to breast cancer. Damaged breasts become the source of body image issues. "I met a girl who doesn't even dare to take her clothes off in front of her friends," one activist says.

.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More Africa

Nun fatally attacked in South Sudan Watch

Image of Sister Veronika Terzia Rackov was shot by three soldiers and died from her injuries (irishexaminer).

By (CNA/EWTN News)

A Slovak nun and medical doctor died Friday from gunshot wounds she suffered in an attack in Yei, South Sudan last week. Juba, South Sudan (CNA/EWTN News) - Sister Veronika Terézia Racková was shot and wounded by three soldiers on May 16, and died from her injuries ... continue reading


'Everything published about this matter is completely false': Confusion erupts over EgyptAir Flight 804 crash Watch

Image of Egyptian officials are unable to keep their story straight (Eco Clement/UPI).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Conflicting stories have emerged concerning recently downed EgyptAir Flight 804. While Greek officials claim the plane swerved before falling off radar, one Egyptian official claims human remains indicate an explosion, while yet another claim by Egyptian officials ... continue reading


Terrorism?: EgyptAir flight 804 lost at sea Watch

Image of An EgyptAir flight was likely downed due to an act of terrorism (Popoff/Lemerg).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Sixty-six people remain missing after EgyptAir flight 804 disappeared from radar above the Mediterranean Sea Wednesday night. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The airline reported the flight was on its way from Paris to Cairo when ground control lost contact with ... continue reading


First missing Chibok girl returned to family after 2 years with Boko Haram Watch

Image of After two years as a Boko Haram prisoner, one young girl (not pictured) was rescued and reunited with her family (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Over 200 Chibok schoolgirls were kidnapped by Nigeria's terrorist organization Boko Haram over two years ago. At least 57 have escaped Boko Haram and one of those brave, victimized girls was recently rescued by the Nigerian army. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - At ... continue reading


#BringBackOurGirls: 219 of the Boko Haram kidnapped schoolgirls remain missing two years later Watch

Image of Boko Haram continues to persecute Christians and abduct girls as young as 8-years-old.

By Loredana Vuoto (CNA/EWTN News)

Two years ago, radical Islamists with the militant group Boko Haram stormed a school in Chibok, Nigeria, kidnapping 276 teen girls. The event initially sparked global outrage, with high-profile personalities taking pictures on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag, ... continue reading


Extremely young girls dreadfully raised and trained to become suicide bombers Watch

Image of Children as young as 8-years-old have been detonating bombs in schools and markets (Inquisitr).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Boko Haram has reportedly initiated a child training camp to prepare kids as young as eight-years-old to kill as many innocents as possible - including themselves. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Humanitarian group UNICEF recently reported an increase in children ... continue reading


WATCH NOW: Boko Haram releases heartbreaking 'Proof of life' video featuring kidnapped Chibok girls Watch

Image of One of the Chibok girls spoke to the camera. It is the first time her family has seen her in two years.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

When Boko Haram abducted over 200 school girls at gunpoint from a government school in Chibok, Nigeria, they made headlines across the globe. Since their abduction, there has been next to no word of their fate - until now. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Boko Haram ... continue reading


Young girls BEGGING to be suicide bombers to escape rape and starvation Watch

Image of Young girls are accepting suicide missions to escape sexual slavery and starvation (Irene Becker).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Women and girls are kidnapped by Boko Haram militants every day - then are forced to marry the terrorists. They are then raped by numerous men each day. After a time of slowly dying from starvation, the weary girls plead to be suicide bombers to escape the agonizingly ... continue reading


'We can't trust any of them': Surviving Boko Haram sex slaves tell their terrifying stories (WARNING: DISTURBING CONTENT) Watch

Image of Surviving women who were forced to become Boko Haram

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Two women, 15-year-old Halima and 25-year-old Hamsatu, speak of their captivity and forced marriages to Boko Haram men. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The women and girls used as sex slaves were as young as only 8-years-old and were forced to live in small ... continue reading


Biblical plague returns: Satellite images reveal blood-red Nile Watch

Image of Satellite images of the Nile bring to mind the Biblical plague (Pinterest).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A new image from European Space Agency's (ESA) Sentinel-3A satellite reveals a blood-red River Nile, reminiscent of the Biblical plague of Moses' time. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Exodus 7:20, "Moses and Aaron did as the Lord ordered. He raised his ... continue reading


All Africa News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • 100k Americans work for China as China continues to purchase major US ...
  • Daily Reading for Wednesday, June 1st, 2016 HD Video
  • Advent Prayer HD Video
  • How much did Goldman Sachs' CEO invest in hedge fund?: Hillary ...
  • Alabama Supreme court recognizes same-sex adoption
  • Daily Readings for Monday, May 30, 2016
  • St. Joan of Arc: Saint of the Day for Monday, May 30, 2016

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Second Peter 1:2-7
2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of our ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 91:1-2, 14-15, 15-16
1 You who live in the secret place of Elyon, spend your nights in the ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 12:1-12
1 He went on to speak to them in parables, 'A man planted a vineyard; he ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 30th, 2016 Image

St. Joan of Arc
May 30: St. Joan of Arc is the patroness of soldiers and ... Read More