Throughout history, we’ve had a natural tendency to define our diverse cultures with vibrant rituals and practices, some of which have persisted into the modern era (like birthdays).
Unfortunately and especially in underdeveloped countries, many of these traditions are violent and come at the expense of women. With so much technological and social progress, one would think we’ve moved past these sorts of things. But once you see the list below, you’ll realize the human race still has a long way to go.
1. Female circumcision
In many parts of the world, female circumcision is still viewed as a way for women to become pure and mature into womanhood. It has a high rate of infection and can lead to death.
2. Kidnapping for marriage
The belief among certain sects of the Romani people is that if a man kidnaps a woman for 3 to 5 days, he is allowed to marry her.
3. Teeth chiseling
In the Mentawai tribe of Sumatra, certain groups believe women are more attractive and have an improved connection between their body and soul when they have pointed teeth. Because of this, their teeth are chiseled into points using a sharp knife.
4. Beating till death
In certain parts of Brazil, women are taken, naked, into the streets and beaten. It’s believed that this is a “test” for marriage. It’s a merciless process that often leads to death.
5. Breast Burning
In Cameroon, Nigeria, and South Africa, some cultures believe burning a woman’s breasts prevent them from growing and will discourage rape. This act is actually commissioned by the woman’s parents.
6. Neck Rings
Not to be confused with necklaces, these neck ornaments are the complete opposite of a loose, comfortable necklace. Neck rings are used for one thing only – an illusion of a (very) long neck. But instead of actually prolonging a neck, these rings will push the collarbone and ribs down, basically deforming the wearer’s body to an extent. Neck rings are a part of many cultures who wear them on different terms and occasions, and are mostly worn by women.
The world has come a long way in many regards, but clearly women’s rights need more attention. Want to learn how to help? Here are a few charities that you can support.