The most comprehensive compilation of information on the status of
women in the world.

Latest items for PHBP-PRACTICE-1

Feb. 18, 2021, 7:04 p.m.
Countries: Mauritania
Variables: PHBP-PRACTICE-1

“Girls of a West African nation [Mauritania] are forced to consume up to 16,000 calories a day in a bid to make them gain weight so they appear more 'attractive' to men" (para 1). “In the West African culture because bigger women are deemed more beautiful, girls as young as eleven are being force fed to make them fat and more desirable to men. Pictured, a girl is made to eat a large bowl of grain. Sahar visits other feeding camps where girls as young as five and six, like the one above, are being fed larger portions to start stretching their stomachs for when they're older” (caption photo 1)....more
Jan. 1, 2021, 2:57 p.m.
Countries: Tanzania
Variables: PHBP-PRACTICE-1

"The ensuing samba ritual involves cutting cruciform nicks into the girl's chest and hands with a razor to not only help cleanse her of her bad luck, but to make her more attractive to older men" (para 11).
Dec. 24, 2020, 9:52 a.m.
Countries: Iraq
Variables: PHBP-PRACTICE-1

"In 2008, graffiti on the walls in the city of Basra threatened, 'Your makeup and your decision to forgo the headscarf will bring you death'" (para 5).
Dec. 23, 2020, 3:19 p.m.
Countries: Pakistan
Variables: PHBP-PRACTICE-1

"Women generally and girls specifically are not allowed to groom under the fear that men might get attracted by them. 'A girl is considered flirt and immoral if she does so'" (para 25).
Sept. 20, 2020, 4:31 p.m.
Countries: Morocco
Variables: PHBP-PRACTICE-1

“With regard to the role of dietary intake, some women said that prior to marriage they had gone through a fattening period of at least 40 days of intentional overeating with a high reduction of physical activity, traditionally called tablah. This period could last longer until they achieved the goal of gaining weight.”
Sept. 20, 2020, 4:30 p.m.
Countries: Morocco
Variables: PHBP-PRACTICE-1

“Drugs, overfeeding and restriction of physical activity were 3 of the ways used by [Moroccan Saharawi] women to achieve their goal (fattening).”
Sept. 20, 2020, 4:29 p.m.
Countries: Morocco
Variables: PHBP-PRACTICE-1, PHBP-DATA-1

“To study obesity in Moroccan Saharawi culture, 249 women were questioned about their desired body size and diet practices. The majority of women (90.4%) reported wanting to gain weight currently or at some time in the past. To gain weight, women used a fattening period (tablah) of at least 40 days of overeating with a reduction of physical activity and special traditional meals. Appetite enhancers (therapeutic drugs or fenugreek) and traditional suppositories were also used. Some women used corticosteroids to gain weight rapidly.”
Sept. 20, 2020, 4:06 p.m.
Countries: Sudan
Variables: PHBP-PRACTICE-1

“While the idea of what constitutes the ideal body shape is changing in Sudan, the traditional preference for women to have thick legs remains. Some women go to great lengths to try to achieve this, says Bedri - even injecting their legs with insulin or cortisone bought on the black market.”
Sept. 20, 2020, 4:06 p.m.
Countries: Sudan
Variables: PHBP-PRACTICE-1

“"In Sudan, fat has become not wanted. Sudanese want to be like the people outside," she says. Weight loss never used to be a priority here. As little as two generations ago, the custom was to fatten up Sudanese girls before their weddings. People living at the time of the ancient Kush civilization, which ended in AD350, favoured full bodies, says folklore historian Sadia Elsalahi - especially thick hips and thighs. Until the 1930s, Sudanese parents would marry off their daughters as young as 11 or 12 years old, says Elsalahi, when their bodies hadn't fully developed. "To make a girl seem older, they made her bigger and fatter." ....more
Sept. 20, 2020, 3:33 p.m.
Countries: Cameroon
Variables: PHBP-PRACTICE-1

“"Breast ironing" is the Cameroonian custom of massaging young girls chests with hot tools—spatulas and pestles being the most common—in an attempt to flatten their developing breasts. This is done with the intention of postponing their first sexual relationships by making their bodies less attractive to men. Parents often fear that the girls won't finish their education if they meet a man and become pregnant. For the most part, the flattening is carried out by female family members, either at home or with the assistance of a healer. The process begins as soon as the girls hit puberty—for some, that means as early as eight years old. The consequences of...more
Sept. 20, 2020, 3:32 p.m.
Countries: Cameroon
Variables: PHBP-PRACTICE-1

“Every single story [about breast ironing in Cameroon] was powerful. Even if their wounds weren't visual, they were broken inside. One of the women suffered a lot: She was ironed with a spatula, then a rock, then raped and married off to a man without her consent. She had a kid when she was just 14.”
Sept. 2, 2020, 12:05 p.m.
Countries: Cameroon, Ghana, Senegal
Variables: PHBP-PRACTICE-1

“Several non‐communicable and infectious conditions may result from scarification. Scarification is associated with both local dermal hypertrophy and atrophy and with cutaneous sarcoidosis. In Ghana, scarification is a risk factor for rapid progression of filarial elephantiasis caused by Wuchereria bancrofti. As in traditional communities, scarifications are mostly performed with unsterile instruments, and unsterile materials are applied and rubbed into the wounds to extend the healing process, infections are likely to occur, both locally and systemically. Causative agents of local bacterial infections include a variety of agents and sepsis arising as a complication from locally infected scarification lesions and pneumonia occurs. A considerable incidence of tetanus has been found associated with...more
Sept. 2, 2020, 12:04 p.m.
Countries: Ethiopia, Tanzania
Variables: PHBP-PRACTICE-1

“Barabaig women in Tanzania wear dotted scars surrounding the entire orbital region to signal female perfection. Comparable scars, in addition partly covering the cheeks, are found among Bumi men in Ethiopia. Some prestigious Fulani women show four‐three‐lane keloid chains in their faces to indicate their social rank. In fact, the ornaments may serve in these tribes as identity cards, indicating age, puberty, marital status, social status and merits, and they are perceived as signs of attractiveness.”
Sept. 2, 2020, 12:01 p.m.
Countries: Cameroon, Nigeria
Variables: PHBP-PRACTICE-1

“The theory of a non‐adaptive sexually selected character explains scarification in the context of mating and sexual preferences and is based on the Darwinian theory of sexual selection. Scarifications are aesthetic adornments and intended to stimulate and attract potential sexual partners and to, in principle, allow for polygyny. For instance, among the Tiv ethnolinguistic group in Nigeria and Cameroon, raised keloids have been described to induce strong erotic feelings when touched, both among women and men.”
Sept. 2, 2020, 11:40 a.m.
Countries: Burma/Myanmar, Thailand
Variables: PHBP-PRACTICE-1

"Earlier this month (May 2 – unfortunately I cannot locate an internet version) the Canberra Times ran a feature article on intergenerational tensions among Padaung women in Thailand: 'Muko feels sweat trickling down her neck even as she sits under the shade of a wooden hut on a sweltering afternoon. “This is so uncomfortable. I cannot wipe off the sweat because of this,” the 15-year-old girl says, sulkily, pointing at the 15 brass rings, weighing 3kg, that adorn her neck. “I want to remove my rings because they are heavy and give me neck pain.” . . . For older women…girls like Muko…are a disgrace to the Karen tradition.'"more
Sept. 2, 2020, 10:29 a.m.
Countries: Indonesia
Variables: PHBP-PRACTICE-1

"Following the procedure — performed with crude instruments and without anesthetic — [the wife of the Mantawaian village chief in Indonesia] Pilongi bites on green bananas to dull the pain, before showing off her new smile. “Now that my teeth are sharp, I look more beautiful for my husband, so he won’t leave me,” she says proudly."
Sept. 2, 2020, 10:27 a.m.
Countries: Indonesia
Variables: PHBP-PRACTICE-1

"As National Geographic reports, a tribe of people in Indonesia believes women are more beautiful if they have their teeth chiseled into sharp, narrow points. In the following clip, the wife of a Mantawaian village chief prepares to undergo the painful surgery, which is also said to maintain the balance between body and soul."
Aug. 31, 2020, 3:53 p.m.
Countries: India, Mexico, Russia, United States
Variables: PHBP-PRACTICE-1

“One study of women’s magazine advertisements in four countries (India, Russia, Mexico, and the United States) found that depictions of women focused primarily on Eurocentric or White ideals of beauty (Mayorova & Kwan, 2003). Only 3% of women depicted in a sample of India’s most popular women’s magazine had dark skin, and no depictions of dark-skinned women were found in a sample of Mexico’s most popular women’s magazine.”
Aug. 31, 2020, 3:50 p.m.
Countries: Tanzania
Variables: PHBP-PRACTICE-1

“Six interrelated themes emerged about what motivates Tanzanian women to engage in skin-bleaching practices: (a) to remove pimples, rashes, and skin disease (17% of sample); (b) to have soft skin (5%); (c) to be White, beautiful, and more European looking (38%); (d) to remove the adverse affects of extended skin bleaching on the body (e.g., uneven skin tone and dark patches) (2%); (e) to satisfy one’s partner and/or attract male mates (14%); and (f) to satisfy/impress peers (22%).”
Aug. 31, 2020, 3:20 p.m.
Countries: China, India, Japan, South Korea
Variables: PHBP-PRACTICE-1

“Forty-four percent of Korean and fifty-four percent of Japanese ads used Caucasian models. Local models did not often appear in global brands’ ads in Korea, Hong Kong or Japan but eighty-two percent of the Indian ads used Indian models or celebrities. One reason for this may be the recent globalization of Indian beauty as affirmed by a number of Indian winners of such global beauty contests as Miss World and Miss Universe. From 1990-2006 Indian models won 11 of these titles. The dominance of Bollywood film in India also diminishes the impact of Hollywood ideologies in Indian culture. Indian celebrities appear to be the dominant body ideals for Indian women.”more
Aug. 31, 2020, 3:06 p.m.
Countries: Japan
Variables: PHBP-PRACTICE-1

“Wagatsuma (1967) reports a survey of Japanese men that found that they valued white skin as a significant element in judging the beauty of Japanese women and associated it with femininity, chastity, purity, moral virtue, and motherhood. In addition he found that the quality of mochi-hada (“skin like pounded rice”) had sexual connotations for many of these men.”
Aug. 31, 2020, 3:05 p.m.
Countries: Japan
Variables: PHBP-PRACTICE-1

“In Japan, applying white powder to the face has been considered a woman’s moral duty since the Edo period (Ashikari 2003a; 2003b; 2005).”
Aug. 31, 2020, 3:05 p.m.
Countries: South Korea
Variables: PHBP-PRACTICE-1

“In Korea, flawless skin like white jade and an absence of freckles and scars have been preferred since the first dynasty in Korean history (the Gojoseon Era, 2333-108 B.C.E.). Various methods of lightening the skin have long been used in Korea, such as applying miansoo lotion and dregs of honey (Jeon, 1987).”
Aug. 29, 2020, 1:20 p.m.
Countries: Malaysia
Variables: PHBP-PRACTICE-1

“Respondents in this study [of female university students in Malaysia] believe that having a lighter skin will provide higher self-esteem (53.8%) and looks beautiful and healthier (51.9%). They also have a perception that men consider women with lighter skin are more beautiful than a woman with dark skin (32.7%). Other perceptions about lighter skin were that lighter skin increases the chance of getting married (6.7%), lighter skin implies belonging to a higher social class (5.8%), and lighter skin helps in getting a better job (3.8%).”
Aug. 29, 2020, 1:17 p.m.
Countries: Dominican Republic
Variables: PHBP-PRACTICE-1

“Although both men and women engage in the skin lightening practice, of various sorts, women generally have higher rates of practice than men. This situation can be seen in Santo Domingo, as early as the sixteenth century; the Indian women used painful processes to bleach their skin, trying to become more attractive to colonizers.”
Aug. 29, 2020, 1:16 p.m.
Countries: Malaysia
Variables: PHBP-PRACTICE-1

“Most of the [surveyed female university students in Malaysia] have the perception that lighter skin provides high self-esteem (53.8%) and looks beautiful and healthier (51.9%).”
Aug. 29, 2020, 12:51 p.m.
Countries: Zimbabwe
Variables: PHBP-PRACTICE-1

“Results revealed that 61.7% of the [female university students in Zimbabwe] expressed satisfaction with their skin colour. On skin tone 83.3% preferred the light skin tone and the other 16.7% preferred the dark skin tone. Almost all (94.9%) women knew of someone who uses skin lightening creams and 5.1% did not know of anyone who uses skin lightening creams. The respondents gave more than one perception on what they thought was the meaning of skin tone: 93.3% thought light skin was a symbol of beauty, 65% thought light skin was a sign of wealth and 23.3% agreed that light skin symbolized power.”
Aug. 29, 2020, 12:50 p.m.
Countries: Cameroon
Variables: PHBP-PRACTICE-1

“Another study conducted in four university campuses of Yaoundé, Cameroon the main reasons for using lightening creams were the desire to have a uniform body skin color, followed by the need to have a soft skin.”
Aug. 29, 2020, 12:49 p.m.
Countries: Tanzania
Variables: PHBP-PRACTICE-1

“In a Tanzanian study, women in relationships admitted to using the [skin lightening] products as a way to maintain their appeal to their partners.”
Aug. 29, 2020, 12:48 p.m.
Countries: Togo
Variables: PHBP-PRACTICE-1

“Research evidence from Togo indicated that some of the motives to use these skin lighteners included a desire to be noticed, the desire to be beautiful, appreciation of light colored skin, following fashion trends and the need to have a good social standing.”