The absurdly harmful traditional practice of ‘breast ironing’ is on a fast rise across the globe, and is giving some concerned persons a serious cause for concern.
Breast ironing is a horrific practice where young girls are beaten with hot irons on the chests to hamper the growth of their breasts.
This practice is believed to be a way of protecting young girls from rape since the sight of their developing organs could stir some men to forcefully gain carnal knowledge of them.
According to the UK National Committee for UN Women, the fast-rising abusive practice has affected about 3.8million women and girls globally.
The practice which is common in countries like Cameroon, Nigeria and South Africa, is already being observed in the UK and thousands of girls are also at risk, Metro UK reports.
An activist and FGM survivor, Leyla Hussein has spoken out about the ‘absurdly harmful’ breast ironing ritual in a blog for Cosmopolitan.
He wrote: “The words ‘culture,’ ‘tradition’ or ‘religion’ might come up when trying to explain this absurdly harmful practice, but as in the case of FGM, these words are only thinly veiled excuses.
“Breast ironing is just another way to control a woman’s sexuality and perceived attractiveness. Breasts become a dangerous body part that must be removed in case they attract male attention, as if removing all signs of femininity from a girl’s body could protect her from being raped.
“I underwent FGM for my ‘safety’ too. What an absurd world we live in when women’s bodies are not considered safe in their natural state, and men are not considered responsible for controlling their own urges.”
The ordeal can take anything from a couple of days to a few weeks, and in around 58 per cent of cases it’s carried out by the victim’s mother.
According to a UK-based charity Cawogido, which campaigns to raise awareness of both breast ironing and FGM, the practice has consequences such as cancer, abscesses, infection, cysts.
In some cases, the ‘traditional’ practice could lead to a complete disappearance of one or both breasts.
Cawogido wrote: “The girl believes that what her mother is doing is for her own good and she keeps silent. This silence perpetuates the phenomenon and all of its consequences.”
Below are some sad photos of some girls undergoing through the pains of breast ironing. (Click on any image to enlarge).