Uganda: “Your skirt is too revealing. Remove it right here, right now.”

When we imagine the Western understanding of this, it’s something quite obviously different to what Ugandan government do. Their controversial anti-pornography bill, yet to be passed by the president, aims to ban women from donning ‘sexually explicit’ clothing. Have they seen western porn?
Mini-skirts, although not specifically mentioned, will be off the list of options, as will any item which exposes their breasts, buttocks and thighs; what they believe is “dressing indecently in a manner to sexually excite”.

The 2011 Ugandan definition of pornography (C/O The Guardian)

“any cultural practice, radio or television programme, writing, publication, advertisement, broadcast, upload on internet, display, entertainment, music, dance, picture, audio or video recording, show, exhibition or any combination of the preceding that depicts sexual parts of a person such as breasts, thighs, buttocks and genitalia”

A comment on The Independent story forum said that feminists fight against being objectified in exposing clothes, and are now complaining that there is this ban. Stupid comment. 
I hate to think I am a cliche feminist, but I don’t see a rule like this banning vests, shorts or the lack of a top on men! It’s simply unequal; something the Uganda constitution state guarantees against.

But that’s not the most shocking thing.

The locally known mini-skirt law has seen growing attention following report women were being ‘manhandled’ and forced to remove these items in public places. Sorry, because that isn’t further exposing them? Please…

The Independent said: ‘Uganda’s Ethics and Integrity Minister, Simon Lokodo, put forward the measure last year, and said that women who wore “anything above the knee” should be arrested.’ A crime. To wear a skirt above the knee.

It seems that Uganda claim they practice equality, but the prohibition here, banning a item because of its lack of material and ‘pornographic’ qualities suggests otherwise.

Simon Lokodo, a former Catholic priest and backer of the Bill, said earlier this year: “One can wear what one wants, but please do not be provocative.” – The Independent

The ethics and integrity minister also says ‘the bill targets “irresponsible” women wearing clothes above the knee in public because they are “hurting the moral fibre” of Uganda.’ (The Guardian)

I don’t imagine any man would be happy to know he can be arrested for wearing a certain and, may I just add, really common garment of clothing because of a law against pornography.

Again, a case of inequality of gender. This isn’t a feminist issue, it’s a case of not being treated fairly. It’s not on and  I for one am an advocate of expressing oneself through fashion. I feel this is just the next step in the prohibition of free will and self-expression. 


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