Breast-flattening on rise in UK to protect girls from unwanted male attention


The Hush Post | 15:48 | Two-minute read

Gender abusive orthodox practices against pre-teen age girls are on high rise in United Kingdom. According to The Guardian’s report, an African practice of ironing a girl’s chest with hot stone to delay breast formation is spreading in London, Yorksrhire, Essex and the West Midlands.

The community workers informed the British Daily about the incidents in which pre-teen girls from the diaspora of several African countries were subjected to the painful, abusive and orthodox practice mostly by none other than their mothers. The mothers have committed this highly gender abusive act just to protect their female child from unwanted male attention, sexual harassment, and rape.

The Guardian had been told about the increased incidents in South London town of Croydon, where 15-20 recent cases have been noticed by an activist alone. The activist described the painful practice whereby mothers, aunties and grandmothers use a hot stone to massage across the breast repeatedly in order to break the tissue and slow its growth. She described how it’s usually done in UK, not abroad like female genital mutilation (FGM).

1000 girls subjected to intervention in UK

Margaret Nyuydzewira, head of the diaspora group Came women and girls Development Organisation (Cawogido), said that at least 1000 women and girls in the UK had been subjected to the intervention. “Sometimes they do it once a week, or once every two weeks,” she added further.

Leyla Hussein, British-Somali anti-FGM campaigner and psychotherapist told the Guardian that she spoke to five such victims of breast-ironing at her clinic in North London. Hussein told that they were all British women, all British citizens and one victim became flat-chested as a result of the practice.

In Wolverhampton, a church minister, Mary Claire said she had spoken to four victims in Leeds, originally from West Africa and their marks could easily be noticed.

The daily said in it’s report that there has been no systematic study or formal data collection exercise yet. On the other hand UK police said that they fielded no allegations about breast-ironing but suspected that it was happening. So far, the activists and social workers are not satisfied with the British Government’s attention towards the gender abuse.

The UN has described this act of African practice as one of the five under-reported global crimes relating to gender violence. Medical experts call it child abuse which could lead to psychological and physical scars, inability to breastfeed, deformities, infections, and breast cancer.


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