Breast Ironing

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 25th November 2020.

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Photo of Fiona Bruce Fiona Bruce Conservative, Congleton

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations his Department has received on the practice of breast ironing in countries which receive UK Official Development Assistance.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

Addressing all forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG), including harmful practices like breast ironing and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), is a priority for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

UK funded initiatives like our ground-breaking What Works to Prevent Violence Programme are working to challenge discriminatory social norms which are a key factor in perpetuating these harmful practices. Rigorous evidence generated through What Works has shown that harmful attitudes and norms can change in less than three years. Approaches that engaged whole communities to challenge harmful perceptions and norms achieved significant reductions in VAWG of around 50 per cent. UK Aid has also supported the Africa-led movement to end FGM since 2013, which has helped over 10,000 communities, representing over 27 million people, pledge to abandon FGM. The UK has also recently launched the next component of support. Through a major investment of up to £31.5 million, we are supporting an exciting new partnership to accelerate action to end FGM in high prevalence countries in Africa.

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