Is being a girl a curse? I’m really feeling distressed and upset after knowing about the horrific practices that happen in the African continent and other parts of the world with girls. Earlier I used to think that living in India being a lady is hard but I’m really feeling blessed right now, ever since I came to know about the dreadful and utterly painful practices called Breast Ironing and Female Genital Mutilation.
We women are made by the God like that, I don’t know how our natural body becomes a problem that causes rapes. You will get surprised to know that in Africa, many young girls are forced to flatten their breasts to protect themselves from the “male-gaze”. seriously disgusting! This utterly disturbing practice is a tradition in parts of east, west and central Africa and also in some other parts of the world majorly in the Muslim countries.
The girls as young as 8 years old who starts developing breasts, have to go through with this processes to prevent attention from males, sexual harassment, rape and teenage pregnancy. What a shocker! And even the worse practice than that is Female Genital Mutilation(FGM). You can’t believe my words that it is a process of removing partial or total external female genitalia. This practice is already recognized as a violation of human rights by United Nations.
Both the practices are done by female members of the house, mostly mothers and aunts with or without anesthesia or without any medical facilitation. For Breast Ironing, women use stones, hammer, or a spatula heated on hot coal. The girls have to go through excruciating pain during this process. For Genital Mutilation, non-sterile devices are likely to be used, including knives, razors, scissors, glass, sharpened rocks and fingernails. This not causes deadly pain but also increases the chances of infection and other diseases. As per the statement which was given by a nurse in Uganda in 2007, a cutter would use one knife on up to 30 girls at a time. Imagine how horrible it is!
Apart from the physical trauma, the women suffer mental trauma as well that lasts for a lifetime. Unfortunately, women who undergo these processes are prone to health issues, they may not be able to breastfeed again and are even vulnerable to cancer or other infections associated.
As per the report given by the UN an estimate of 3.8 million young women are at risk of breast ironing in Central and West Africa. And FGM is thought to affect up to 140 million women and girls. Anti-FGM campaigner Leyla Hussein perfectly stated on these horrific and heart-wrenching practices that,
“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.”
God Bless All!
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