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

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level 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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid