In Cameroon, breast flattening or breast ironing, is considered a human rights violation by the Friends of the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA). The practice involves flattening a young girls b*****s with highly-heated stones, pestles, spatulas or coconut shells. It is often carried out by an older female relative.
Almost 4 million young women in Cameroon have been subjected to this treatment, according to the UNPFA. In the Muslim north only about 10 percent of young girls are affected by this practice, but more are treated this way in the Christian and Animist south.
Although the practice can result in physical damage in addition to retarding developing b*****s, many elders condone it. Mothers or close relatives of young girls who perform the practice believe breast ironing will deter s*xual predators.