2016 - Ongoing
Early in the morning before the spirits wake up. She prepares the bath and heat a stone. wake up her daughter. Massages the daughter’s breasts with the stone before her daily bath to go to school.That’s the daily routine for some mothers in Diang village in East Cameron.
Mothers find their happiness in seeing their kids in a good health, waiting for the day their daughters grow up start having breasts and period, as a sign of being a lady. In Cameroon it’s an alert of a nightmare will start for the mothers.
Early marriage, teenage mother and rape are common words there. One out of five girls, is a teenage mother in Cameroon. As a way of protection when the girl start to have a breast her mother or grand- mother heat a stone and massage the breasts to melt the fats and make it disappear, believing that breast ironing will postpone their development and men will not be enticed by their breasts.
In Cameroon girls are beginning to hit puberty as young as seven, and are subject to the practice around at the same age.
For the mothers breast ironing is a way to demonstrate their love and protect their daughters. To hurt in order to protect is a way of showing love. Each village has it’s own way of breast ironing, using different tools.
Cameronians do breast ironing at home secretly. it was hidden for many years until