Women in some cultures have not been able to free themselves from the patriarchal clutch. They have to lead their life according to the desire of male whims. The West African country named Mauritania has a strange rule for women that are contrary to the general concept of feminine beauty. While the women, all over the world, are trying to tone down their body fat, the Mauritanian women are asked to put on weight. The men of this West African country find bulky women appealing and attractive. There is no market for the slim girls here and women must overfeed themselves in order to find a groom.
According to the tradition of Mauritania women who are slim, do not belong to well off families. They are believed to be poor and wretched. Fattiness is equaled to opulence. A survey of the backward countries prove beyond doubt that even today women are seen as possession and a girl who is not capable of bringing good dowry or gifts to the husband’s house is seen as a burden. Lack of education and empowerment among women is the main reason behind their deprivation. This practice is referred to as Gavage. Women are seen as properties and the fatter they are the higher gets their value in the marriage market. Women who are force fed by their family members are called Leblouh.
Tradition or Trend?
Fattening women for marriage has become a profession in Mauritania. It seems people are ready to cash any malpractice for the sake of money. There are so-called professionals in this African country who help girls of tender age bulk up. They get paid for their services. Young women have started to protest against the traditions but fattening girls at a tender age has become a trend in Mauritania that will not die so soon.
How is it really for women?
Young women are forced to join beauty training camps from the tender age of 7-8. They are fed fattening foods throughout the day without any stop. Young women in their twenties weigh more than 200 pounds. The process of force feeding is gruesome. In some fattening camps girls are beaten up with whips and canes on refusing food and they have to eat their own vomit once they throw up. They suffer from several health issues due to their body mass. But still not much has been done to stop this disturbing tradition.