As if Female Genital Mutilation wasn’t traumatic enough for young women in the 3rd World to have to face – the practice of breast ironing has just come to the fore thanks to a few written pieces in key press.
Some disturbing facts:
– UN report states breast ironing affects 3.8 million young women
– It is a widespread practice in Cameroon, Nigeria and South Africa
– In 58 per cent of cases the girl’s mother is the abuser
The claim is that women (tragically often the mother) use hot irons, hammers or spatulas to reduce growing breast tissue in an attempt to ‘asexualise’ the girls, to protect them from sexual predators, unwanted pregnancies and premature marital overtures.
I’m not sure how these practices slow or stop breast tissue growth. I suspect that it causes a build up of scar tissue which prevents growth and possibly shrivels the glands in the breast. Incredibly barbaric! These girls are subjected to this horror, often by people they trust, in the guise of helping them to continue personal development, complete education and protect them from an early marriage. In fact, according to experts in this field this practice is wrapped in tradition, religion and superstition, much like FGM.
There is no doubt that the girls are left physically scarred and mentally traumatised.
Education MUST be the key to ending these terrible abuses – education of both the young girls and their abusers.
Some sites of interest:
BREAST IRONING” CONFERENCE
Will take place at the Northolt Library, Northolt: Friday 24th October, 2015 from 1pm to 4pm.The conference aims to continue discussions and to urge participants to join CAME Women and Girls Development Organisation in the campaign against “breast ironing”. Discussions will focus on the negative impact of breast ironing and on issues to protect girls from being abused through breast ironing and supporting families and communities.
Refreshments and Lunch will be served during the conference.
To confirm your participation at this important conference, please contact Geraldine Yenwo:
Tel: 02083689054/ 07942240643 or