Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Quick hit: Force feeding to prepare for marriage in Mauritania

Spotted in this morning's NZ Herald:
Fears are growing for the fate of thousands of young girls in rural Mauritania, where campaigners say the cruel practice of force-feeding young girls for marriage is making a significant comeback since a military junta took over the West African country.

Aminetou Mint Ely, a women's rights campaigner, said girls as young as 5 were still being subjected to the tradition of leblouh every year.

They are tortured into swallowing huge amounts of food and liquid - and made to consume their vomit if they reject it.

"In Mauritania, a woman's size indicates the amount of space she occupies in her husband's heart," said Mint Ely, head of the Association of Women Heads of Households.

"We have gone backwards. We had a Ministry of Women's Affairs. We had achieved a parliamentary quota of 20 per cent of seats. We had female diplomats and governors. The military have set us back by decades, sending us back to our traditional roles. We no longer even have a ministry to talk to."
Click through for the rest of the article.

Yet again a woman's size determines her worth.

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