African societies are often inherently patriarchal, and it’s generally young girls and women that have to bear the brunt of the continent’s various traditional practices.

For instance, there is the awful practice of “sexual cleansing” whereby young girls in countries such as Malawi, Kenya, and Uganda are expected to have sex as part of a cleansing ritual in any of these circumstances: after her first period, after losing a husband or after having an abortion.

Then, of course, there is the disgusting practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) where female genitals are deliberately cut as “rite of passage into womanhood”.

However, you may not have heard of “leblouh” which is prevalent in rural in areas in Mauritania, Western Sahara, and southern Morocco.

Learn about this disturbing practice in the video below:

Leblouh is a horrific process whereby girls as young as five are force-fed in a bid to prepare them for marriage.

In parts of Mauritania, larger girls and women are seen as more attractive and wealthier while those who are slimmer are considered less worthy of marriage.