The controversial Tanzanian leader who came to power at the end of 2015 has again made waves with another contentious declaration. Popularly known as the ‘Bulldozer’ and his reforms as ‘Magufulification’, President Magufuli has in his latest reform said no to mini-skirts.
No more thighs!
It is official and women in Tanzania have three weeks to enjoy their short skirts and dresses. After that, showing of a thigh will be illegal.
No tight dress or exposing outfit will be accepted in Tanzania. The new law will particularly affect Tarime district, Mara region, where President Magufuli said he will put the ban.
Foreigners will also find it hard to enter the area. The argument is that mini-skirts have been contributing to the spread of HIV and AIDS in the district and the entire country.
Hats for female civil servants in The Gambia
Meanwhile, The Gambia reversed a new law on Thursday that was forcing female civil servants to cover their hair. The government insisted that women were the president’s “best friends” and should not be upset by government decisions.
A memorandum that circulated among public officials before the New Year had announced that women working in government were to “use head tie and neatly wrap their hair” from 31 December.
But a statement from President Yahya Jammeh’s office said the directive had been dropped, adding that demanding the wearing of headscarves “had nothing to do with religion”.
“Women are (Jammeh’s) best friends, they are his sisters and he is here for their well-being and happiness at all times. That being the case, this decision that makes them unhappy has been lifted,” the memorandum reads.
The debate on traditional African clothing goes on and on. Some advocate for an African attire which should be worn throughout the continent. Some countries already have their own attire, for example, Nigeria, Egypt, Ethiopia and Morocco, not requiring national laws.
Is it right for governments to declare what people should wear? Notably The Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh has realised people should have their own choice. Tanzanian President, John Magufuli’s reason for the anti mini-skirts declaration is based on fighting the spread of HIV/ Aids. Should other African leaders copy the move, or is Magufuli being sexist and limiting freedom of choice?
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Author: Gesture Chidhanguro