According to the BBC Women in Ghana have been warned against a growing trend for taking pills during pregnancy to lighten the skin of their unborn babies while they are still in the womb.
Medical experts say these illegal drugs can cause birth defects, including damage to limbs and internal organs.
Ghana’s Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) says using Glutathione pills for this purpose is dangerous, adding it wants “the general public to know that no product has been approved by the FDA in the form of a tablet to lighten the skin of the unborn child”.
Despite strict warnings and even recruitment limitations following the immigration service disqualifying women who have bleached their skin due to fear that they might bleed out during the strenuous training process, the practice is still growing in Ghana.
This brings us back to the issue of colorism in Africa. The idea that you are most beautiful when fairer toned is very damaging. These mothers believe that they will give their children a better life if they are lighter skinned as society will be willing to accept them.
In many African countries, most men will happily gloat about their preference for light-skinned women as they find them more physically attractive. In search of a spouse or even a partner, many women have turned to lightening their skin for the acceptance of potential suitors. That women are going as far as potentially harming their unborn offspring is great cause for concern and reminds us that self-love as a topic for discussion is not overflowed. In fact, there is need for more conversations around this in Africa.