Women Call for Protection, Safety and Dignity as Anti-Pornography Law is Misinterpreted Top story

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In short
Before it was enacted into law, the Bill prohibited dressing that exposed unclothed or under clothed parts of the human body such as breasts, thighs, buttocks and genitalia among others. Despite the fact that this particular clause was deleted, the Ethics Minister did not make it any easier and stressed that women must follow the law and dress decently or else the law will catch up with them.

Women activists have staged a demonstration to protest the wide spread violence against women following the enactment of the Anti Pornography law. Several women have been stripped in various parts of the country over allegations of indecent dressing since President Yoweri Museveni assented to the bill.
 
The anti pornography law seeks to stop the production and dissemination of pornographic material. This morning, women activists led by the Wo-man Foundation and Center for Domestic Violence prevention stormed the streets with placards to protest the mistreatment.  “Give us maternal healthcare don’t undress us on the street. Others read, “Thou shall not touch my Mini- Skirt and rape is about violence not excitement,”

Ruth Ojiambo Othieno, the Executive Director Isis-Women's International Cross Cultural Exchange says she understands pornography to be information communicated through images and video that erodes the morals of an individual. Ojiambo said she was disappointed that although the law does not state it, is targeted against women and their bodies, which she said needs to be corrected.

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Before it was enacted into law, the Bill prohibited dressing that exposed unclothed or under clothed parts of the human body such as breasts, thighs, buttocks and genitalia among others. Despite the fact that this particular clause was deleted, the Ethics Minister did not make it any easier and stressed that women must follow the law and dress decently or else the law will catch up with them.

Worse still Lokodo claimed that men are so weak that if they saw an indecent woman they would just jump on her.

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Miria Matembe, the former ethics minister and woman activist was not to be left behind. She argues that the underlying problem in Uganda is high levels of moral decadence and ethical value degeneration which need to be tackled. She expressed her disappointment with government that is so quick at passing a law which, deals with symptoms and rejects the law of the family which would have established the family as an institution so that the morals and ethical values are instilled through it.

The Law defines pornography as any representation through publication, exhibition, cinematography, indecent show, information technology. It further defines the act as any means of a person engaged in real or stimulated explicit sexual behaviors or any representation of the sexual parts of a person for primarily sexual excitement. Matembe says this is very vague even compared to Former President the late Idi Amin Dada who ordered that all women should wear skirts and dresses which should not be three inches above the knee.

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According to the Uganda Demographic and Health Survey 2012, 59 percent of women experience physical violence from their partners, while 28 percent experience sexual violence every day. Tina Muswiya from Centre for Domestic Violence prevention cites Peninah Kobusingye a student at Makerere who was sexually abused and murdered and Emily Akire of MUBS who was killed and her naked body dumped in a bush.

Kedif Ismail a motor cyclist does not agree with the women saying indecent dressing is not part of the African culture and women should uphold their dignity otherwise they shall keep undressing them. He adds that even boys who wear trousers exposing their under wear will also be dealt with.

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In a statement this week, police spokesperson, Judith Nabakooba, warned that if one suspects a person who is indecently dressed they should report the matter to police but not take the law into their own hands. Anyone found participating in mob justice of undressing people and are caught will be dealt with accordingly.