Pro-miniskirt protesters in Uganda stopped short by police

Last week, several women were publically harassed or assaulted following a new law banning ‘indecent’ dressing

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For some women in Uganda, wearing a miniskirt is a profound expression of freedom – although the African country’s lawmakers and police do not seem to agree.

Uganda’s police prevented women from demonstrating in the capital Kampala on Wednesday to protest against a law banning the wearing of miniskirts.

Around 200 women gathered outside the national theatre trying to voice their anger against the new bill dubbed “the miniskirt law” by Uganda’s media, the BBC reported.

During the protest, women dressed in mini shorts and skirts held banners with various slogans including “my body my business” and “thou shalt not touch my miniskirt.”

One of the organizers of the march said she was harassed at the police headquarters when she went to get a permit for the demonstration.

Speaking about the new anti-pornography legislation, which raised in parliament on Tuesday, Uganda’s Ethics and Integrity Minister Simon Lokodo said that women who wore “anything above the knee” must be arrested.

Legal threat

In reaction to the controversial bill, Rita Achiro, executive director of the Uganda Women’s Network, said her organization may take legal action as the constitution guarantees equal rights for both sexes.

The law encouraged men to abuse women, Achiro said according to the website.

“Now people are more free to do it openly. They are going to judge women according to what they see as indecent because there are no parameters defined by law,” she added.

“That has really put women at risk in this country,” Achiro said.

Last week, several women were publically harassed or assaulted following the signing by the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni of the anti-pornography bill, which bans “indecent” dressing.

The new law does not use the word miniskirt but bans women from revealing their thighs, breasts and buttocks and from dressing indecently in a manner to sexually attract.