The most shocking information that I walked away on Friday with was on statistics on breast ironing in the country of Cameroon. Are we really talking about the 21st century? Let me share some with you:
24% of adolescents have had their breast ironed
50% of them are below the age of 9 years
38% are between 9 and 11 years of age
24% at the age of 12 years when breasts are mostly developed
14% at 13 and 14years of age
All this emotional and physical pain and suffering is inflicted on pubescent girls by close family members in the name of protection - protecting the girls from sexual harassment, early marriage and/or rape which would allow them to continue their education. Limited research on the subject tells us that such practices can lead to long term physical and psychological damage to young girls. The government has passed legislation against the practice but immediate and rigorous enforcement is required. Communities need to be informed, organized and mobilized against this horrible practice. Why should we not be stopping the perpetrators rather than penalize the victims? A new approach to this issue is necessary if we want to put an end to this practice for good.
Check out several graphic footage of the practice if you have the stomach for it.