News / Africa

New Law Bans Miniskirts in Uganda

FILE - A woman wearing a miniskirt takes part in a protest in Jakarta against the idea that provocatively dressed women are to blame for sexual assaults.
FILE - A woman wearing a miniskirt takes part in a protest in Jakarta against the idea that provocatively dressed women are to blame for sexual assaults.
The Ugandan government said the president has signed into law sweeping and controversial anti-pornography legislation that outlaws miniskirts and other types of revealing clothing.
 
The new law covers a range of issues related to pornography, including child pornography, pornographic publications and even suggestive music videos.
 
But what is grabbing headlines and stirring debate is the dress code.  The law makes it illegal to wear revealing clothing, including tops that show too much cleavage and miniskirts, defined as anything above the knee.
 
Ethics and Integrity Minister Simon Lokodo said Tuesday that it is now forbidden to wear any clothing that could be deemed sexually exciting. 

“If you dress in such a way that you irritate the mind and excite the people then you are badly dressed; if you draw the attention of the other person outside there with a malicious purpose of exciting and stimulating him or her into sex,” he said.
 
Ugandan women have been speaking out against the law, which, they said, primarily affects them.
 
Rita Achiro of the Uganda Women’s Network, a rights advocacy group, said such legislated control over women’s bodies sets a dangerous precedent for women’s rights.
 
“Such laws actually take a country like Uganda backwards in regards to women’s empowerment.  I do not want to look at it just as the miniskirt, but rather look at it from controlling women’s bodies, and eventually that will end up into actual total control of women,” she said.
 
Achiro also argued strongly against the law’s implication that the way a woman dresses incites a man to rape, pointing out that in many Ugandan cultures Western-style dress is a comparatively new phenomenon.  For centuries women in these cultures wore very little clothing at all, she said, and yet rape was neither common nor tolerated.
 
The penalties for wearing revealing clothing remain unclear.  But short skirts are a common sight in Uganda, particularly among young women in the capital.  Many Ugandan women say the dress code will be difficult, if not impossible, to enforce.

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 3
    Next 
by: kingsley tama from: valletta,malta
March 06, 2014 5:22 AM
as anti gay law be implemented,it wil spill over to other related pornography issue


by: Musa from: USA
February 27, 2014 9:06 AM
There are better issue to be address rather that a law that has to do with dress code.


by: Sopani Sichinga from: Malawi
February 26, 2014 1:15 PM
I think the Mr President is somehow correct. Am saying this because the way women dress these days its they don't give respect to themselves. Soon they will start walking naked.


by: Eugene from: Nairobi
February 26, 2014 1:12 PM
It is ironic that in Africa we keep bashing Western mannerisms and culture for it's perceived detriments but as it has been said we were contentedly roaming about naked barely 100 yrs ago as 'sovereign Africans'... the only decadence here are the lies and hypocrisy. In Kenya, Uganda and S. Sudan many communities still walk about naked obliviously... will entire communities now go to jail?

In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
February 28, 2014 10:44 AM
Ignorance may not be an excuse at law, but sometimes it attracts less contempt. It's willful acts that attract greater consequences. Mini skirts are not ignorance; it is a willful design to allure, seduce or tempt into inordinate affection and afterwards to claim rape. Let it be as it were. In the days of ignorance God overlooked, but now all have been called to behave...


by: John Stefanyszyn from: Montreal
February 26, 2014 11:49 AM
Hypocrisy of Uganda’s Self-Righteousness

Uganda’s leaders say…
...homosexuality is a crime
...wearing mini-skirts is a crime
...BUT….polygamy is not a crime

The LEADERS desire to rule by what is right in their own eyes.


by: walter from: Nairobi
February 26, 2014 12:31 AM
This law is Barbaric draconian monstrous uncalled-for and ambiguous and including everything bad .It should specify which areas should not be exposed what if a lady don’t wear a miniskirt and I wear a pant for example will that be against the law and the Men should also be burned from wearing tight pants coz they make them sexy Lol…………………………..


by: Mutamba asifu ali from: Wakiso uganda
February 25, 2014 4:13 AM
Uuh atleast but it was worse

In Response

by: Uganda from: kampala
February 26, 2014 11:34 AM
Let me hope you know what the word mini-skirt means because ths has triggered the idle and disorderly to begin there barbaric acts of undressing and attacking women under the act of fighting mini-skirts what they don't know wat it means


by: musa from: kampala
February 23, 2014 2:11 PM
infact it was too.. late for ugandans.


by: kituyi doreen from: uganda
February 23, 2014 12:24 AM
Importing of mini skirts and those selling them should be burnt first if not then then the law of miniskirts wont work coz once they continue selling them then who wont buy.thk about it


by: Anonymous from: stockholm
February 22, 2014 8:18 AM
i think this minister lokodo is not serious for he is bringing his personal affairs into the normal everyday life of a local ugandan.
I mean long ago if he is truly ugandan and knows about the history of uganda ...women in most cultures never used to dress in any thing too lond...it was either a very small cloth to cover the breasts and private parts and they would move freely and no one would object until the colonialists came introducing long and heavy clothes.... includind the gomesi which is not any where in our culture.
So im just wondering is this law out to conserve the Ugandan culture and stop pornography or is it out to infringe on womens rights koz to me its like the men get to do all they want nd the women dont.

Comments page of 3
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid