Saturday, April 10, 2010

While I respect the cultural diversity of our world, my heart truly bleeds for my global sisters in Mauritania. Why? Because I don't feel that anyone, male or female should be subjected to torture and condemned to a life of poor health.

In Mauritania, men regard fat women as beautiful and desirable. As a result, young girls in this African nation are brutally force-fed in a centuries old tradition called "gavage or "leblouh". The custom dictates that young girls be fattened up for marriage by force-feeding them. Methods to make sure the girl submits even includes torture!

Historians say this practice began in pre-colonial times when all Mauritania's white Moor Arabs were nomads. The logic is that the richer the man, the less his wife would do, so she was actually expected to sit still all day in her tent while her slaves saw to household chores.

Ancient Berber quatrains describe tebtath (stretchmarks) as jewels. Even today lekhwassar (fat around the waist) is a symbol of pride and social standing. Girls that have been sent for fattening in fat farms gain the stature of mbelha.

Please watch these two videos to see what is happening there, and to learn about what is being done to put a stop to this barbaric practice. Then sign the petition by following the link at the bottom of this article to help these women and young girls.

One in five women in this country have been subjected to this kind of torture! Not only is it a violation of their human rights, but this practice, and the resulting obesity, often leads to weight related health problems and even death to obese women.

For the girls who are subjected to days of endless gorging and vomiting, there is always the danger of injuring their stomachs and suffocating on their own vomit.

As you can see from the two videos, these women and girls have very few opportunities to speak for themselves. We need to increase awareness of this situation and help them.

Please help them by signing this petition. You can also copy the code below to help collect signatures. Thank you!

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My goal is to collect 500,000,000 signatures and then have them sent to the United Nations. Please help get the word out for these helpless women and girls! Thanks and Blessings!