No, Magufuli did not ban miniskirts

Social media, and even some news organizations jumped on the rumor that Magufuli banned miniskirts.

Social media, and even some news organizations, jumped on the rumor that Magufuli banned miniskirts. Photo: EWN

Social media is buzzing with rumours that President John Magufuli had banned miniskirts, purportedly to reduce AIDS.

It’s not true, but that doesn’t mean you can wear a miniskirt to a government office.

“We want to strongly refute these reports,” says the Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sport in a statement issued on its website.

The rumors were fueled by what appeared to be a screen capture of the ministry website, stating that a fine of 100,000 TSH ($46 USD) would face any woman whose dress is ‘incompatible with our culture.’

What is true however, is that since 2007 there is a specific dress code in place for public servants — which often applies for any one entering a government office.

Miniskirts — along with dresses showing the knees, tops revealing excessive cleavage, sleeveless shirts, shorts, sporting wear, jeans, and political attire — are not allowed.

In 2014, Uganda’s anti-pornography act banned women from ‘dressing indecently’ and in 2015, Zimbabwe’s first lady Grace Mugabe told women who wear mini-skirts it would be their fault if they were raped.

 

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