Breast-Ironing on the Road Towards Women’s Empowerment

Nini Mappo
Posted October 29, 2020 from Kenya
Photo by Gildas Paré on SBS Vice (1/1)

 

 

It’s 2020, and breasts are in danger. We’ve always known that, but this is danger like you’ve never heard before. To all the ways that women’s bodies are pillaged and plundered by patriarchy, add breast ironing. As another reason why we’re more than 100 years from reaching gender equality, hear the tormenting screams of a 10-year-old girl, pinned to a wall by the pain of a searing hot stone against her budding breasts.

The thought of breasts being ironed is enough to make anyone squirm, but for mothers desperate to see their daughters complete their education, the alternative is as painful.

 

Desperation and misinformation make for terrible bedfellows.

 

From the first Women’s Rights Convention in 1840s New York, through Britain’s Suffragettes of the 1860s, to the 1960s assassination of the Mirabal sisters by the Dominican dictator Raphael Trujillo, women of the world ignited the fight for their enfranchisement and gender equality, and kept it going, sometimes with their blood.

Throughout this history, the patriarchal, egotistic, sexist man has been viewed as the ‘problem’ blockading the advancement of women empowerment in different quarters. But, what if in some instances, the saboteur of women’s emancipation is the woman herself? This might seem the case in Cameroon where female relatives iron the breasts of their pubescent girls, but at a closer look, breast ironing is the benevolent mission of fear-fuelled love.

 

Breast ironing or flattening reportedly affects 25% of girls in Cameroon. It is the pounding and massaging of a pubescent girl’s breasts in an attempt to halt their development or make them disappear.

Stones, spatulas, pestles, and other implements are heated over hot coals then pressed against tender sprouting breasts of a girl by a mother, grandmother, and in some cases the girls themselves. This unimaginable abuse is a source of fear, pain, and shame in the pubescent girls of Cameroon and several other African countries.

Besides massaging with hot objects, breast binders are also used in the younger girls to ‘keep the breasts inside’. One 9-year-old victim reported her breast binder to be so tight it scared her because she couldn’t breathe.

 

Rebecca Tapscott reports that the practice evolved from the traditional warm, breast massages used to even out breasts or help with milk flow during lactation. Repurposing of breast massage into its current ‘protective’ form is said to have been triggered by the moral panic brought by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, coupled with easy access to e-communication through which young people plan rendezvous sexual encounters.

In some parts of Cameroon, breast development is believed to indicate sexual maturity, making breasts a signal for rapes, sexual experimentation, and early marriages. Breast ironing is therefore meant to ‘delay’ puberty, and is seen as a form of contraception.

Outside Africa, The Guardian reported cases of breast ironing within the Cameroonian diaspora in the United Kingdom as recently as 2019, despite easy access to contraception in the country. Its prevalence in parts of Birmingham and London prompted the MP Jake Berry to carry a motion to the House of Commons (2016) to have breast ironing criminalized as child abuse.  

 

 

Societal context and motivations for breast ironing.

Traditionally, child marriages in Cameroon allowed girls to be married off at the onset of puberty, leaving little chance for premarital pregnancies. In modern times, the early onset of puberty at 8 or 9 years old creates fear in mothers that their daughters may be pulled into womanhood too soon. Mothers also want to safeguard the future of their daughters by ensuring they complete their education to gain financial independence.

 

In most African countries, there are few pathways for a girl to complete her education after dropping out to birth a child. Completing school widens the gap between puberty and marriage, making the still fertile girls vulnerable to sexual predators and at risk of STIs and pregnancy. RENATA, a Cameroonian NGO, reports that rape and incest are widespread in society, making any means to protect young girls from such abuse necessary.

Breast ironing is therefore a means to protect the girl from sexual harassment and rape, forestall early pregnancy to avoid disgracing her and her family, and allow the girl to finish school rather than be forced into early marriage owing to the pregnancy. It is believed to delay pregnancy by ‘removing’ signs of puberty and fertility. Moreover, the resultant ‘flat-chested’ girls are viewed as less sexually attractive to men, increasing their safety from sexual predators.

Some victims report that breast ironing is sustained by secrecy between victims and perpetrators. Fathers or male relatives are often unaware of its occurrence, and some fathers have been known to rescue their daughters once they discover the humiliating pain they’re subjected to.

 

Despite breast ironing, teenage pregnancy is increasing, according to a 2011 report by Cameroonian Gender initiative GaED, where a third of the 20 to 30 percent of girls with unwanted pregnancies are between 13 and 25 years of age. Moreover, in a report by New Internationalist, survivors of the practice attributed their subsequent early pregnancies to a resultant loss of confidence and self-worth.

Torturing girls by ironing their breasts has failed to keep men and boys off the bodies of young girls in the countries it exists.

 

 

Physical side effects of breast ironing

When done properly, breast ironing is said to halt the development of breasts and delay it for some years. However, the harmful practice adversely affects its victims in various ways.

Some frequently cited side effects of breast ironing include an immediate delay or halting of breast growth; swelling, burning, irritation, pimples on the breasts, abscesses, fever, extreme pain; a long-term overgrowth of one or both breasts or failure for one or both breasts to grow; difficulty to breast-feed, scarring, and breast cancer. Some victims of breast ironing have been treated for first and second-degree burns and cases of edema from overgrown or swollen breasts. Severe wounds have also been reported as in the case below.

 

My mother told me that my breasts were going to attract men. So she brought me to a traditional healer. He grabbed a knife, cut my breasts, one after the other, and sucked the insides out with a tube. He told me: ‘If you don’t do it, people will think you’re a prostitute.’ I fainted from the pain. It took days to heal. Breasts are a gift from God.” –Lisette, 34 years old, via Vice Australia

 

Many women sharing at a Gender Danger run community initiative to end breast ironing revealed some troubling effects it had on their daughter’s bodies, such as failure of ironed breasts to regrow or grow as stubs, breasts growing extraordinarily large after the ironing, and some breasts developing disproportionately. In one case, one breast grew naturally while the other developed a hole in the middle.

 

One victim reported that her breasts were so damaged from being ironed they needed corrective surgery. Like many others whose mammary glands were destroyed by immense heat, she was unable to breastfeed later. Another victim remembers that instead of white nourishing milk, black fluid flowed out of her nipples when she attempted breastfeeding.

 

 

Psychological side effects

Dr. Flavian Ndonko, who wrote a GIZ commissioned study that investigated the practice in Cameroon, explained that the practice created a negative relationship between victims and their breasts, leading to anxiety, shame, and frustration when breasts developed at a later age.

Furthermore, Alain Nguidjoï in his 2008 report on the practice in Yaoundé cited depression and withdrawal from the community as other side effects of breast ironing. Sudden onset of violence from previously loving parents caused victims to internalize the abuse as rejection, believing no one would listen to them if they sought help. This further thickened the wall of silence on which the practice thrives.

 

In 2015, Gildas Paré, a French photographer, photo-documented the experiences of breast ironing victims in Cameroon, sharing his findings in an interview with Vice. In his report, one 19-year-old victim (at the time) recounts:

I was eight when my mother told me: ‘Take your top off. Do you have breasts already? When a girl your age has breasts, men look at her.’ When she realized a pestle wasn’t working, she used a (hot) rock. That was hell. It felt like my body was on fire. Sometimes, I try to understand my mother’s actions. It hurts so much when I look at myself in the mirror.” –Doriane, 19 years old, via Vice Australia

Paré dubbed this photo project ‘Plastic Dream’ because many of the victims he interviewed would like to have corrective plastic surgery on their breasts. That being too costly, they hide their breasts in shame and grief.

Commenting on the black backgrounds he chose for the victims’ portraits, Paré said:  “Like the female stereotypes, these photographs of naked women under black frames are at first sight like precious jewels in their cases. But the banner of the text, like a veil masking their intimacy, reflects the wound of their femininity.”(Paré)

 

Thus, breast ironing cuts beneath the skin and scars the mind, leaving its victims uncomfortable in their bodies due to a warped view of their femininity.

 

 

Community advocacy is breaking the silence and bringing healing

When Nina Garthwaite interviewed a perpetrator in her short documentary on breast ironing, she responded that were anyone to condemn her actions towards her daughters, she’d tell them that ‘this was her way’, and they shouldn’t interfere.

Condemning breast ironing isn’t good enough, but educating perpetrators on its inability to inhibit fertility is a powerful weapon against the practice. It’s what some local NGOs are on a mission to do: show mothers, through reproductive health education, that ‘no breasts’ doesn’t equate to ‘no babies’.

 

The New Internationalist reports that RENATA, a Cameroonian NGO, is driving change through advocacy against breast ironing and violence against women. They also offer sex education and psychological support for victims. RENATA has been at work since 2006, partnering with local schools, the media, and religious groups to widen their impact. Sexual and reproductive health education provided to victims and perpetrators exposes the futility of breast ironing, breaks taboos around sex discussions, enhances parent-child communication, and consequently reduces occurrences of breast ironing.

RENATA also equips girls with tools on body positivity, saying NO to sexual advances, and reporting perpetrators of both sexual abuse and breast ironing. This reduces the secrecy under which breast ironing thrives and increases the success of mitigation efforts.

More importantly, by engaging both girls and boys in sexual health education, RENATA is involving the men of tomorrow in the fight for women’s sexual emancipation by giving them tools to create safer communities for girls and women. This, hopefully, is chipping away at patriarchy and the objectification of women’s bodies.

 

Alongside RENATA is Gender Danger, another grassroots advocacy movement started by Chi Yvonne Leina, a journalist and Human Rights Activist. Leina recounted the trauma experienced by her cousin Aline, following the repeated ironing of her breasts by their grandma. The thoughts of pain and intrusion into her body awaiting her after school saturated Aline’s mind so that she fell behind in her studies. She dropped out of school and later became a teenage mother, the very disease which ironing her breasts had purported to cure.

This incident emboldened Leina to stand up against her grandma when her turn came, leading to the realization that women’s empowerment cannot be achieved without giving the girl child a voice. This is further confirmed by Rebecca Tapscott, who reports that Cameroonian girls are increasingly asserting themselves at home to shield their bodies from the abuse.

Fuelled by her passion to save others like her cousin, Leina brought together women leaders in her northwest part of Cameroon to form Gender Danger, a grassroots advocacy group against breast ironing.

 

Leina’s vision goes beyond ending breast ironing to include the emotional healing of victims and perpetrators, embracing one’s feminine body without shame or loathing, and empowering the next generation to do the same. Gender Danger not only dispenses information but also creates safe spaces for victims and perpetrators of breast ironing to share their stories and begin to heal.

Nakinti, a volunteer with Gender Danger in Cameroon’s city of Bamenda shared on the liberating power of giving victims a voice, and the grief and relief that reproductive health education brings out in their audiences.

Grassroots advocacy is making strides, but breast ironing persists, including in Cameroonian refugee communities in Nigeria, as reported by Aljazeera earlier this year.

 

 

Breast ironing and the global gender gap

According to the World Economic Forum, the Global Gender Gap score, based on the population-weighted average, stands at 68.6% as of 2020. This means that in the four key areas of economic participation, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment used to measure gender equality, women are at a 31.4% greater disadvantage to men, a gap that research believes will take 100 years to close at the current pace.

 

As we’ve seen, victims of breast ironing are already disempowered by trauma in all four aspects indicative of gender disparities. Once their education is hindered by resultant trauma, its effects trickle into poor health, and poor economic and political participation, because their confidence was pounded flat by hot stones on their breasts in an attempt to govern their femininity against patriarchal power.

 

The plight of a girl whose breasts are ironed creates an urgency for continued advocacy against gender-based violence and violence against children, especially girls in patriarchal cultures around the world.

 

Breast flattening also highlights the demands of patriarchy on women’s bodies, where a woman’s body, and how she presents it to the world, is condemned as the enemy if she’s sexually exploited. It further confirms that the fight for the de-objectification of women’s and girls’ bodies is unrelenting in every culture today.

 

The pervasiveness of this objectification is asserted by Pemunta’s research, who states that girls and women have been schooled to experience their bodies only as if they were on display. Once scrutinized under male preferences and societal expectations, the feedback generated determines the acceptable manner in which the woman may present her body to society, her phycological comfort and sexual safety being depended on that. In such cases, women’s bodies are owned by the society to which they must conform, and not by the women themselves.

 

How then, may women aspire to the same degree of recognition and wealth as men, where misogyny denies them ownership of even their bodies?

 

Undoubtedly, many factors contribute to gender inequalities. But today, I invite you to pause long enough to hear the screams of these girls as hot rocks press against their tender breasts, such needless pain to don on a futile ‘invisibility cloak’ against sexual predators.

 

Their screams are those of every girl, raising her voice in hope that she’ll be heard, seen, understood, acknowledged, set free. Their pain is that of every girl in the world, growing up in a culture where it’s easier to inflict pain on her whether physically or psychologically than it is to have honest conversations with her about her sexuality, it’s beauty, and pitfalls, and how to safely navigate it in a patriarchal, sexist, world.

 

Note: Story first published elsewhere on October 15

 

 

 

 

This story was submitted in response to My Voice, Our Equal Future.

Comments 22

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Prozoe
Oct 29
Oct 29

Dear Nini

This post is intense... The chills in my spin as my body tries to imagine the unimaginable that these young girls went and continue to go through is insane. My heart breaks, as a girl child, a woman and mom to 3 daughters, my heart breaks for these girls. I have quite the imagination and I could always imagine that people are capable of a lot ot hurtful things, but this is a level that I could never comprehend. And to think that it all, is in the name of protecting the girl child. I fear how we have missed the point of protecting the girl child, putting her in harms way and depriving her of what is an intricate part of what it means to be a girl. I fear how it's become okay to have to adjust woman in order to accommodate them alongside others in society.

My heart breaks... And their pain and the disappearance of it, will be the prayers I send up to God, as in Him, we stand a fighting chance, to free these girls and explode their voices into spaces that can free others in danger of experiencing the same pain.

I hear your voice and I will echo it in as many places as possible till it is heard by ears whose hands can bring about a difference.

BigLove

Nini Mappo
Nov 02
Nov 02

A resounding amen to your prayers sis Prozoe. It really is true that women have not been fully accepted by society unless they are 'adjusted' this way or that way. I pray that one day the honor and safety that is worthy every woman and girl will be theirs. More love to you and the little people you were privileged to bring into the world and shepherd them through as they discover themselves and their place in it.

Tamarack Verrall
Oct 29
Oct 29

Dear Nini,
This needs to be known and understood, and you have written such a comprehensive report on what so few know about. It is particularly heartbreaking when women feel they have no other way to 'protect' their girls, than to subject them to such torture in order to keep men from attacking them. It was here in World Pulse that I first learned about breast ironing and it is powerful to see you carry Ch Yvonne Leina's and others' work forward by describing this work and keeping it known. It is also so good to know that you have published this earlier. It is an important document, a movement of women determined to end this torture.
In sisterhood,
Tam

Nini Mappo
Nov 02
Nov 02

Indeed sis Tam, and thank you :)
I was impressed with the determination of these women's movements to hold back tradition and re-write cultural practices.

Paulina Nayra
Oct 30
Oct 30

Oh dear Nini,
I couldn't finish reading the post . Honestly, i was feeling my chest when I read your post because I can feel the pain. Of course it is not as painful as the real one but.. the thought of breast ironing is too painful, too violent, too abusive. It has to end once and for all. Now. I'll go back to your story later. When am stronger.

Huggs.

Nini Mappo
Nov 02
Nov 02

I feel you sis Paulina. Your caring heart comes out in how well you connect with their pointless pain and suffering.
Sending love and hugs back :)

maeann
Oct 30
Oct 30

Helo Heloo Nini :) How are you?

While reading your post, I cannot open my eyes clearly reading these horrible things about young girls on breast-ironing. For some, they have not heard about this or not aware that this exists. As Prozoe said, we hear your voice and hope to share these stories too, while Tam and I had first learned about breast ironing here on World Pulse.

Thank you for sharing.

Nini Mappo
Nov 02
Nov 02

Thank you Maeann dear :)
That's what we all need to do--hear them and see them and look out for them if we can, and for other vulnerable ones around us. I learnt about it here as well, and I was so utterly shocked and couldn't get it our of my mind. The only way to not think of it all the time was to write it down, hence the post. Let's keep sharing :)

Andrace
Oct 30
Oct 30

My dearest Sis,
Like Sis Prozoe, I had chills while reading. I support Maama Tam's comment too. I could barely even read patiently. This has been happening for a long while and it is man's inhumanity to man. I still think that patriarchy is to blame. Men don't see us as enough. We're not considered to be individuals, but that we exist for their pleasure. The women who do the ironing do it ultimately to 'look good' in the sight of the men as disciplined etc. In my country, a 'bad' child is the mother's, while the brilliant one is the father's. So, no mother wants to take the blame for a child who is considered wayward. And tell me, what happens to the 'accomplice' through or with whom she became 'wayward'?- I mean the guy himself? Nothing!

The act is barbaric. Thank you for crying out against the crude culture in this well-researched piece.

You rock, Sis. You always do!:)

Love and hugs,
E. J.

Nini Mappo
Nov 02
Nov 02

Thank you sis E.J. As always you know how to cheer up a weary soul:)
Your comment brings another side of the many patriarchal failures in parenting and nurture of different aspects of helping a child mature...shacking responsibilities and relegating them to the mother while they sit around to play judge. very sad, all round:/

Adriana Greenblatt
Nov 01
Nov 01

Dear Nini,
Thank you, thank you for this enlightening, unbelievably poignant post. I and so many others learned so much. I echo the emotions of others, I had a hard time and breathed through your post, and knew I was called to keep reading. I learned about this post and this practice through the encourager party as it was rightly highlighted.

So many lines spoke to my soul but these profoundly resonated: "Torturing girls by ironing their breasts has failed to keep men and boys off the bodies of young girls in the countries it exists....Sudden onset of violence from previously loving parents caused victims to internalize the abuse as rejection, believing no one would listen to them if they sought help. This further thickened the wall of silence on which the practice thrives."

What resonated was the ways in which this harm has been perpetuated because of another societal harm of patriarchy - where we blame these girls bodies and very being for any abuse they may receive, and the highlight you make of the psychological toll, which is often ignored. What was also poignant for me was the way you articulated how this causes barriers to these girls moving forward in key indicators of gender equality, something that I know will speak to policy makers and decision makers, so this is powerful messaging Nini.

What I am encouraged about was the work RENATA is doing - sexual health education, YES! And Gender Danger not only dispensing information, but healing safe space safe spaces for victims and perpetrators of breast ironing to share their stories and begin to heal, and embracing the whole feminine body WITHOUT SHAME, wow.

And Nini, yes, the pain of these girls is that of " every girl in the world, growing up in a culture where it’s easier to inflict pain on her whether physically or psychologically than it is to have honest conversations with her about her sexuality", though manifested differently across cultures, patriarchy is a root harm that these organizations you have cited are deeply facing, confronting and healing. I am floored, and inspired and grateful for your share.
I am sending a ginormous hug to you, a strong deep hug, from Montreal,
Adriana

Nini Mappo
Nov 02
Nov 02

Thank you for persevering, dear Adriana. It's not easy to read at all. I read and reread as I edited but it was still heavy and troubling. Yes the work of those women in a mission to holdback culture, their vision and determination gave me courage to write this. I don't think I would have written it without that glimmer of hope.
Thank you for seeing such great value in the article, for the hugs, and for seeing these girls and the needless pain they are subjected to.
Sending back hugs and sparkles :)

Anne-Chantal
Nov 01
Nov 01

Dear Nini, I took a big sigh after reading. What a well detailed piece. I worked for 9 years fighting Child Early and Forced Marriages and Breast Ironing , working for the UK embassy in Cameroon.
I have read , heard the most horrible stories. I keep asking myself, when did we become so insane as to force mothers to think such a horrible act can be a solution to the sexual attacks on girls?
When I was little , I heard girls in my class talking aboutit. It is something I never really understood until I grew older. But in my little girl's mind I thought it may be correct. So were the stories of how it would protect girls from the eyes of boys and men so convincing I bet I sometimes felt it was the right thing to do.
But when I look at it now, I wonder how this could go on. I so pray it ends. While I helped the UK government in my own little way promote its policy against Breast Ironing and Child Early and Forced Marriages in Cameroon, I prayed that this endeavour would go far and that the practices would be eradicated finally in Cameroon. At least we succeeded to get the Ministry on Women´s Empowerment to table a bill before parliament punishing it . I hope It goes even further than that. For all the million of girls and women it affects, in Cameroon, I so pray it ends.

Nini Mappo
Nov 02
Nov 02

Hello Anne-Chantal,
Thank you for doing your part in helping these girls and their families realise that there are better alternatives. It is as you say that unless they know a better solution, they'll always view the harmful way as good because it's what they know. It is great that legislation against it is on the way, and at the same time thankful for the grassroots advocacy groups to support mothers who may be still fearful of what their daughters will become without it.

How are you settling in so far?
I hope everything is sparkly as France cools down.
My best :)

Anne-Chantal
Nov 02
Nov 02

My dear sister,
We thank God for the ladies doing marvellous work in the grassroots . It is even thanks to them that I could succeed in my own little bit as they have the data, they know how the practice is done and how it is shielded by women so that outsiders dont identify it. I pray God gives them the finances and support strength they need to keep fighting this bad practice because to fight it is to fight certain of our traditions in Cameroon; like female genital mutilation which is also done in the bid to supposedly keep the girl child from becoming sexually active too early.
My team and I had started some work tackling the traditional leaders. Training them and showing them the consequences of these practices which they support. They were knocked out and some signed an agreement to ban traditional practices that hamper the rights of women in their communities. But this work concerned only 12 traditional leaders in the West region. I hope it continues .
I am ok dearest sis. Watching Corona virus cases spike up in France and leading to a second lockdown which is now in its 4th day.

Millynairi
Nov 03
Nov 03

Dear Nini,
This is unimaginable! This is painful. This is complete torture and needs to be known. May the Lord intervene and fight for these women. I am glad that you have shared this Nini.

Nini Mappo
Nov 15
Nov 15

Thank you, dear Milly:-)

Queen Sheba D Cisse
Nov 03
Nov 03

Greetings Nini, It is very important that you bring awareness to this unfortunate cultural tradition which has become a cultural social norm after let's say thousands of years passed down ignorant nonsense that is harming, torturing and killing our beautiful young girls.
The more we women educate and advocate we can collectively change this practice. One word is best suited to start with: Concrete EDUCATION.
To change old behavior norms and practices we have to educate on why we should NOT tolerate and carry on with such practices revealing evidence and circumstance. Sure many will resist but we can reach one person at a time.
A great educational post!
Mama Queen

Nini Mappo
Nov 15
Nov 15

Thank you, mama Queen. Indeed education is the only way forward out of ignorance and harmful traditions, and what sister Leina and Gender danger, and the Renata aunties are working hard to deliver. It sure sounds insurmountable pushing against traditions and in the African context, telling your elders that they have been wrong all along. That's why the courage of the community advocacy groups is so laudable.

jomarieb.earth
Nov 12
Nov 12

Dearest Nini,
I feel I am finding this a bit late, but better late than never. The article is quite an amazing eye opener. I thought that ace bandage wrapping was bad enough, which has continued since the early 1900s in America. Breast ironing is truly another level and another form of FGM.
It's amazing that with absolute love and protection a woman gives life to a girl and will choose to mutilate her daughter, grand-daughter and/or niece, to protect her and the family from the plight of being in the same world as the male gender. The love of a woman's body for herself rarely comes from other women. That's the irony. The hate for her body does come from other women. It comes in many forms, from minor to major. This is a worldwide concept with different practices. I wish we could be born to love ourselves. Boys while in the crib receive a ball to play with. He is celebrated to merely enjoy. Girls receive a doll, her first child to care for. We are bound from birth. I wish women could educate each other to guard against the taboos and the self loathing that we inherit from our own gender because there is an opposite gender. I have no answers, no clue. I can only ponder the thoughts and feel for my baby sisters. Thank you Nini for the enlightening article. As always, you rock!
Hugz...JoMarie

Nini Mappo
Nov 15
Nov 15

Dearest Jomarie :) It is never too late to interact with anything in the wide web. I find that the more I learn about the world the more shocking it gets, including finding out about this practice and other vices. And it's true that womanhood is censured, for the benefit of the said other gender in the guise of protecting us from it, which, as you rightly observe, makes it difficult to love and celebrate what we are afraid of or afraid for--women's bodies.
It's an interesting correlation you make between boys and balls and girls and dolls. It reminds me of shopping with my nieces, nephews, and my sons...how the girls drift towards the dolls and the boys towards vehicles and such, and how some nieces will have the dreaded mall tantrum over not getting their choice doll while they have scores at home. It got me thinking about something shared by one speaker at the just concluded Aspire Reinvent Conference (I can sent you the clip if you like) about the three Cs of womanhood (cooking, cleaning, caring) and they being hormone driven.
Oh dear, so the more I learn of the world the more complicated it gets (chuckles :-))

I ponder and feel with you big sis:/ This was so shocking and unsettling that my mind could not rest until I wrote about it. In my research I read about a 28-year-old grandmother who was so desperate to spare her second daughter of the same fate as herself and her eldest daughter that she resolved to breast-ironing. You truly feel their desperation and the circumstances they are caught up in without any resources to protect their girls. It is sad for these women that in these cases, motherhood is associated with so much negative emotion as well.

Thank you for the love, always :-)

Hello, Nini,

Thank you for using your writing prowess to shed light on this inhumane practice. It was only through reading the stories of our World Pulse sisters that I learn about breast ironing. I agree with what our sisters have written here and shared the same pain in knowing that there are girls who go through this agony. Thank you for highlighting the works of our Amazon sisters Chi Yvonne and Nakinti. This is such a well-researched piece. I can see how beautifully you have women information into one comprehensive article.

Wow, you are also a writer in Medium! How awesome you are! I've been wanting to write there, too, but their partner program is not available in the Philippines yet. I would love to earn by posting articles there.

Keep up the great work you are doing. It's so inspiring how you are using your gifts to be a voice for those who are voiceless. Thank you so much!