According to a UN report, Breast ironing, which involves the use of hot stones in flattening young girl’s developing breasts now affects 3.8 million women around the world.
It said to be a widespread practice in Cameroon, Nigeria and South Africa and is majorly done by mothers. The process which can take up to one week involves the use of hot stones, hammer or spatula to compress or mutilate the breast tissue so the girls will not look like feminine.
The reason they do this is to prevent girls from developing breasts between 11 and 15 years old so as to discourage unwanted male attention and premarital pregnancy.
According to London-based charity Women’s and Girl’s Development Organisation (Cawogido);
Breast ironing is a well-kept secret between the young girl and her mother. Often the father remains completely unaware. The girl believes that what her mother is doing is for her own good and she keeps silent. This silence perpetuates the phenomenon and all of its consequences.
Watch a young girl describes her horrific ordeal in the video below;