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article imageUgandan government seeks mini-skirt ban in anti-pornography bill

By Marcus Hondro     Apr 6, 2013 in World
The government in Uganda is trying to pass new anti-pornography legislation that would, among other things, make it illegal to wear a mini-skirt. The bill would see women wearing a mini-skirt be subject to a heavy fine, a jail sentence, or both.
"It (the bill) is outlawing any indecent dressing including miniskirts," Rev. Simon Lokodo, ethics and integrity minister, told media. "Any attire which exposes intimate parts of the human body, especially areas that are of erotic function, are outlawed. Anything above the knee is outlawed. If a woman wears a miniskirt, we will arrest her."
Ugandan government: Pornography on rise
The Guardian in the U.K. notes the bill would also ban some films and TV shows, performances by artists dressed provocatively and it would take away a citizen's right to privacy in the home.
"Even on the internet, we're going to put a monitoring system so we know who has watched which website and we know who has watched pornographic material," Lokodo said. A former Catholic minister, Lokodo and the National Resistance Movement, lead by president, Yoweri Museveni, write in the proposed legislation that there is now such a great “increase in pornographic materials in the Ugandan mass media and nude dancing in the entertainment world” that such a bill is necessary.
"One can wear what one wants, but please do not be provocative," Lokodo argues in favor of the legislation. "We know people who are indecently dressed: they do it provocatively and sometimes they are attacked. An onlooker is moved to attack her and we want to avoid those areas. He is a criminal but he was also provoked and enticed.
"Men are normally not the object of attraction; they are the ones who are provoked," he continued. "They can go bare-chested on the beach, but would you allow your daughter to go bare-chested?"
Opposition to Ugandan anti-pornography bill
There is opposition to the bill and opponents have created a twitter hashtag at #SaveMiniSkirt. In the National Assembly, where the bill must pass, the draft law of the bill is before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee and some members of the committee condemn it for its attack on freedoms they say are guaranteed in the constitution. Others fear the bill will label some sexual practices illegal.
The minister has attempted to waylay fears about sexual freedoms being infringed upon by saying pornography as defined in the bill will not include “any act or behaviour between spouses or couples performed in fulfillment of their conjugal rights and responsibilities, where such matters are strictly private."
After the bill is discussed further in committee it could go to a vote in the multi-party National Assembly, where the ruling party has a large majority.
More about uganda pornogrpahy bill, national assembly of uganda, freedom in uganda
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