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.