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

Multimedia Obama, Modi Resolve Nuclear Deal Issues

Leaders find resolution on issues of liability of suppliers to India in event of nuclear accident, US demands to track whereabouts of material supplied to country More

WHO's Late Efforts in Tackling Ebola Highlight Need for Reform

Health experts debate measures to reform agency’s response to global public health emergencies in special one-day session on deadly outbreak More

One Tumultuous Year in Power for CAR's President

As sectarian violence raged across Central African Republic, interim President Catherine Samba-Panza has Herculean task: to end civil war and put country back on right track More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 3
 Previous   Next 
by: Daniel from: Kigali
February 22, 2014 12:55 AM
i wish even in Rwanda


by: ali kanos from: nairobi kenya
February 21, 2014 12:12 PM
I wish even Kenya government will climb the same corridor with Uganda gova in its development becouse we are either Muslims or Christians where our authentic scriptures clearly outlines best ways of dressing for male and female.May Almighty God bless the people and gava of Uganda


by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
February 21, 2014 4:36 AM
In order to treat women equally with their counterpart, Ugandan government should come up with provision regulating male's dress code: for example men should not be allowed to wear cowboy hate, white shirts with long sleeves,blue jeans and underwear.


by: derek from: kampala
February 21, 2014 1:42 AM
A gud number of the mps who passed law engage in adultery,fornication and corruption on a daily basis and its puzzling where and how they have the guts of dictating morals to their fellow countrymen and women

In Response

by: nhamo from: zimbabwe bulawayo
February 25, 2014 4:47 PM
Well said Derek , to many of those who pass these laws are guilty of other passtimes , married yet commiting adulterey, corruption, sex whilst unmarried, how can anybody take these kind of moral setters serious


by: kaye rodger from: Buzuga,Uganda
February 21, 2014 12:48 AM
the law should jst specify places where to and where to not where these mini skirts and all clothz in tht bracket......


by: azeez from: kampala
February 20, 2014 11:27 PM
Commenting or criticizing a law without finding time to read it is not only misleading but shear irresponsibility especially from a writer or journalist.I make bold to say that there is nowhere in d law where mini- skirt is mentioned except we are reading different laws!pls let's do our homework before making ridiculous & misleading comments.


by: ema from: uganda
February 20, 2014 4:32 PM
its not fair. this is a new generation

In Response

by: Muzee Richard Olango Abuk from: Phoenix, AZ USA
February 26, 2014 11:18 PM
It's true, this is not fair because we are in a new generation. Ugandan women should not be policed by men and the government as pertains to womens' personal life... wearing mini-skirt. There is no law here. The Lesbian and Gay issues is a violation of good and orderly sexual conduct, and mini-skirt is a shift in social and cultural norm. It is a shame on Uganda because our women are now being stripped naked in Kampala street. I stand with Uganda women in this struggle.

In Response

by: Jusu Opa Gokai from: Liberia
February 21, 2014 5:11 AM
I wish to use this medium to thank the Ugandian government for putting into place measure that will prevent our females from exposing their bodies in public places. I strongly believe that this will curtail the issue of rape and prostitution in Uganda and Africa at large. Again let me say BRAVO!BRAVO!BRAVO!


by: trixy from: kampala
February 20, 2014 7:24 AM
attimes our mps are very hopless how can a fully educated person pass a law against mini skirts i think dey are have no creative suggestions 4 developmental purposes

In Response

by: Jac from: Kampala
February 25, 2014 4:19 PM
My Frd trixy, am nt surprised at such laws because when u look at the group that made the laws, some are s.6 dropouts, others are our grandparents treating our country like a family affair, always dosing parliament while correcting ideas, what do u expect?


by: okelli from: Moroto
February 20, 2014 12:33 AM
Hurray Uganda!!! Hurray Parliament!!!
Mr. Lokodo (min. for integrity) is so damn right. Women have 4 many decades harrassed men sexually thru' much cleavage and thighs and nothing was done. good law.

In Response

by: Ibrah Ali from: Malaba
February 20, 2014 7:57 AM
Those who dress on miniskirts r always uncomfortable in public.Watch their body language n U wonder why they had to dress so! Most often U find them trying to pull down the skirt voluntarily knowing very well that it's indecent. Do U have to parade your nakedness? Stop copying decadent western codes.


by: Godwin from: NIGERIA
February 19, 2014 3:42 PM
I think that is good, if only it will happened here in nigeria. Because ladies here are almost naked

Comments page of 3
 Previous   Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid