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 In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

Ninety percent of homes in one small village were damaged or destroyed as government forces failed to stop a rebel advance More

Pakistan’s 'Last Self-Declared Jew' Attacked, Detained

Argument about the rights of non-Muslims in Pakistan allegedly results in mob beating well-known Jewish Pakistani More

Turkey Cracks Down on Political Dissent — Again

People daring to engage in political dissent ahead of upcoming general elections could find themselves in jail 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.
In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobanii
X
Mahmoud Bali
March 06, 2015 8:43 PM
Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobani

Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

In the village of Nikishino, in eastern Ukraine, recent fighting has brought utter devastation. Ninety percent of the houses are damaged or destroyed after government forces tried and failed to stop rebels advancing on the strategically important town of Debaltseve nearby. Patrick Wells reports for VOA from Nikishino.
Video

Video Crime Scenes Re-Created in 3-D Visualization

Police and prosecutors sometimes resort to re-creations of crime scenes in order to better understand the interaction of all participants in complicated cases. A Swiss institute says advanced virtual reality technology can be used for quality re-creations of events at the moment of the crime. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisis

There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Growing Concerns Over Whether Myanmar’s Next Elections Will Be Fair

Myanmar has scheduled national elections for November that are also expected to include a landmark referendum on the country's constitution. But there are growing concerns over whether the government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for a free and fair vote. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman was recently in Myanmar and files this report from our Southeast Asia bureau in Bangkok.
Video

Video Nigeria’s Ogonis Divided Over Resuming Oil Production

More than two decades ago, Nigeria’s Ogoni people forced Shell oil company to cease drilling on their land, saying it was polluting the environment. Now, some Ogonis say it’s time for the oil to flow once again. Chris Stein reports from Kegbara Dere, Nigeria.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More