breast-ironingThe brutal practice of hiting girls’ chests with hot irons, stopping their breasts from growing, has become a new fad in some Cameroon and British communities.

More and more girls in the UK and other countries are being abused through the horrific practice of breast ironing in an attempt to disgiuse the onset of puberty.

The rise in number of breast ironing cases, which is done with the sole intention to make girls less attractive to men are usually performed by their mothers who believe they are protecting them from sexual harassment, rape, and to avert early pregnancy that would smear the family name.

The Northerners in Nigeria are alleged to also believe that breast ironing will prevent their teenage daughters from being forced into early marriage. According to research by, breast ironing is practiced in over 10 African countries including Cameroon  Benin, Chad, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea -Conakry, Kenya, Togo and Zimbabwe. Breast “sweeping” has been reported in South Africa. According to June 2006 survey by the German Development Agency, GIZ, of more than 5,000 Cameroonian girls and women between the ages of 10 and 82 estimated that nearly one in four had  undergone breast ironing, corresponding to four million girls.  The survey also reported that it is most commonly  practised in urban areas, where mothers fear their children could be more exposed to sexual abuse.

Incidence is as high as 53 percent in the Cameroon’s South eastern region of littoral compared with Cameron’s christain and animist South, breast ironing is less common in the  Muslim North, where only 10 percent of moment are affected. Some hypothesise that is related to the Practice of early marriage, which is more common in the North, making nearly sexual development irrelevant or even preferable. It’s widespread in Cameron and other African countries and affects around 3.8 million teenagers in total according to the united Nathion .

Breast ironing involves the pressing of girls chest to prevent their breasts from growing, a hammer, pestles or a spatula heated over hot coals are used with heated leaves to press and massage the breast, scalding grinding stone to crush the budding gland or to compress or mutilate the breast tissue. According to her, breast ironing is extremely painful and can cause tissue damage, breast cancer, breast infection and depression and perhaps interfere with breast feeding in future time, and in extreme case  it can cause one or both breasts to disappear



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