A victim of female genital mutilation and breast ironing has spoken out about the risk of abuse faced by young women in the UK.
Leyla Hussein has issued the warning via a blog post through Cosmopolitan with her thoughts and experiences being highly concerning.
The main concern is obviously that of the damage done to the bodies of innocent girls, but the motivating factor behind the practice also needs addressing due to its primitive nature.
Hussein says in the post:
Breast ironing is when a hot iron or stone is used to burn or compress the breast tissue. Destroying a woman’s or girl’s breasts in this way can take anything from a couple of days to a few weeks. 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.”
The origins of this form of mutilation lie in West and Central Africa with prominence in nations such as Cameroon, South Africa, Nigeria, the Republic of Guinea, Togo and the Ivory Coast. The Independent declared that up to 50% of girls as young as 10 are subjected to the torture on a daily basis in Cameroon.
The abuse has an array of nasty potential consequences resulting from tissue damage including, breast cancer, cysts, abscesses and creating difficulties for breastfeeding.
Education is cited as one of the key weapons for defeating the problem as the UN have said the practice is one of the top five under-reported gender based crimes.
This world of ours can’t half be disturbing at times.