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Force-feeding farm for girls in Mauritania

Forced to be fat

Forced to be fat. Force-feeding farm for girls in Mauritania

Force-feeding farm for girls in Mauritania

Thin woman in Mauritania, where obesity is traditionally regarded as desirable, has almost no chance for getting married. Slim girl’s parents have great concern at her 5-7 years old, when a girl has to make a match. For those who do not have enough weight are placed on a special farm where girls to 12 years are forced to gain weight 80-90 kg. The violent practice of force-feeding teenage girls, including girls as young as five, is called Leblouh, or gavage. The younger generations of males in Mauritania now see fattening negatively.

Force-feeding farm for girls in Mauritania

Force-feeding farm for girls in Mauritania

70% of the population of Mauritania live in poverty, struggling to get food, and high body volume used to be a sign of wealth. Girls in this country have to make a match at ​​5-9 years old, and they should look something like in the right photo:

Force-feeding farm for girls in Mauritania

Girls in this country have to make a match at ​​5-9 years old, and they should look something like in the right photo

The typical diet of fattening is something like this: two cups of butter, peanuts, millet, beans, camel milk. This is up to 16 thousand calories a day (though the normal daily rate for girls of this age – 1500 kcal). Feeding continues all the school holidays or rainy season (about 2 months), when there’s enough of camels’ milk.

Force-feeding farm

Force feeding farm in Mauritania

The ideal condition is when the 12-year-old girl starts to weigh 80-90 kg. If the desirable weight is not reached, the girl would be sent to a feeding farm for more than one year.

Force-feeding farm for girls

Force feeding farm in Mauritania

Under pressure from the French military, which still controls life in Mauritania, local women gradually acquire rights. For example, in the Parliament they put a quota of 20% (for comparison, in Russia in the State Duma in fact there are only 13% of women), French universities have an annual quota of 100 women from Mauritania, etc. But the custom Leblouh dying very slowly, in rural areas continue to follow it. There is only one way to end it: a massive and prolonged starvation. But this barbaric method the French deny.

Slavery was officially abolished in Mauritania in 2007. However, the military junta that came with the help of the French power in 2008, the de facto abolished the pursuit of slaveholders. Slaves in Mauritania is 20% of the population (600,000 out of 3 million population). Slaves – mostly negros, while their owners – the Berbers.

The young girls are to consume enormous quantities of food and liquid, including their own vomit… One way of inflicting pain if they don’t eat and drink is to pinch a limb between two sticks. A six-year-old might typically be forced to drink 20 liters of camel’s milk, and eat two kilos of pounded millet mixed with two cups of butter, every day.

The photos from the magazine Marie Claire (photographer – Belgian JOOST DE RAEYMAEKER), fattening farm in Mauritania:

Force-feeding farm for girls in Mauritania

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