Zambia Take a ‘Leaf’: Swaziland Bans Miniskirts, Provocative Dressing; Offenders to Get 6 Months Jail Terms

mini skirts and low-rise jeans. Offenders to get 6-month jail
mini skirts and low-rise jeans. Offenders to get 6-month jail
Police in Africa’s last absolute monarchy Swaziland have banned women from wearing miniskirts and midriff-revealing tops, saying they provoke rape, local media reported on Monday.

Wendy Hleta said police would enforce an 1889 law which bans “immoral” dressing if they receive a complaint.

She also said women in the deeply conservative kingdom make it easier for rapists by wearing mini-skirts.

Last month, police reportedly blocked women in mini-skirts marching against rape in the second city, Manzini.

However, the colonial-era law does not apply to traditional costumes worn by women during ceremonies like the annual reed dance, where the monarch may choose a new wife.

In 2000, the government introduced a law requiring school girls aged 10 years old and above to wear knee-length skirts to curb promiscuity as part of attempts to halt the spread of Aids.

The country has a population of more than 1.2 million and one of the highest HIV/Aids rates in the world.

‘Undressing people with their eyes’

Ms Hleta said the 1889 law had not been enforced recently, but police wanted to alert women about its existence after receiving complaints from some men in Manzini about women wearing mini-skirts.

Anyone arrested and guilty of “immorality” under the Crimes Act of 1889 could receive a fine of up to $10 (£6) or a jail-term of up to six months if they failed to pay the fine, she said.

Women should be careful about wearing revealing clothes, the police spokeswoman said.

“We do not encourage that women should be harmed, but at the same time people should note acceptable conduct of behaviour,” Ms Hleta is quoted by the privately owned Times of Swaziland newspaper as saying.

“The act of the rapist is made easy because it would be easy to remove the half-cloth worn by the women,” she said.

Women who wear “skimpy clothes” also draw unnecessary attention to themselves, Ms Hleta said.

“I have read from the social networks that men and even other women have a tendency of ‘undressing people with their eyes’. That becomes easier when the clothes are hugging or are more revealing,” Ms Hleta is quoted as saying.

However, the law excluded exposure of the body due to breast feeding and wearing cultural regalia, she said.

Swaziland is a patriarchal society, ruled by sub-Saharan Africa’s only absolute monarch, King Mswati III.

He has 13 wives and is often accused of leading a flamboyant lifestyle.

But in a move that was widely welcomed by rights groups, Swaziland’s Ellinah Wamukoya was last month consecrated as the first woman bishop in Africa by the Anglican church.


32 Responses to "Zambia Take a ‘Leaf’: Swaziland Bans Miniskirts, Provocative Dressing; Offenders to Get 6 Months Jail Terms"

  1. nshendi   December 25, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Let’s wait and see but as for now Ndeloleshafye

  2. jef   December 25, 2012 at 10:03 am

    iwee ! zambia is not a monarch!
    faq u!

  3. wiseman   December 25, 2012 at 10:09 am

    good move. Morals are increasingly decaying. Bt that cant happen pa Z coz many pipo tokaltive not knowin even wat they defend or tok abt

  4. Zambian Chic   December 25, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Ndiye ku soba vochita!

  5. Nyelele Dick Pussy   December 25, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Start with the Kings selection of half naked virgins to stop that tradition it corrupts morals. Mini skirts are just okay bt in Zambia we cant stop them they are our pride. We have less rape cases in Zambia. Defilements are the ones which are rampant

  6. Peter   December 25, 2012 at 11:18 am


  7. Bwamba Butali   December 25, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Its a good piece of legislation but Zambian girls would vehemently oppose that coz they re spoiled. They fail to realise that bad dressing ignite immoral acts from men. Some foolish NGOs would also support this kind of stupidty by our girls than condemn their dressing like they did over the Choma issue. Cowboys should be commended for taking up that role of instilling discipline in these prostitutes.

    • Zamzam   December 25, 2012 at 4:22 pm

      Ba Bwamba! What is so immoral about a lady wearing that which is comfortable to her? Are thighs sacred sure? How about the breasts paraded girls show to some egotistical King to pick from in the name of whatever annual ceremony they refer to? Are those prostitutes? Or have u considered u might b the one with corrupt mentality? Urge ya to do a self referral and let our ladies dress freely.

  8. Fck u   December 25, 2012 at 11:59 am

    I am not gay but those legs look manly!!

    • The ID10T   December 25, 2012 at 7:45 pm

      You are gay.

  9. Zebige   December 25, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Ata fyabupuba! Some laws are not only discriminatory but also indirectly encourages what they are trying to stop in the first place.Why is it that in countries where such a dressing is a norm rarely records rape cases ? Take Denmark and Sweden for example.

    • Zamzam   December 25, 2012 at 4:24 pm

      With ya Zebige.

  10. Maki   December 25, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Ba Zibige…you cant compare attraction of african thighs with unattractive whitish thigh..some us have been in Europe and failed to get attracted by white thighs

    • CS   December 25, 2012 at 9:10 pm

      To be fair, let them ban the traditional exposure of both thighs and breasts.
      If its immoral let it immoral in all situations.
      Why is it not immoral when it benefits the king.
      Let’s be absolute; wrong or right.

  11. Zamzam   December 25, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    What is there to ‘take a leaf’ from? Mini skirts do not equate to nakedness! Let our women wear what they want and men learn to control your thoughts! Wonder what our forefathers would do when so-called clothes were not even there in the first place!

  12. Didid   December 25, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Let them wear them atlist they have made our dicks used to seen them and they hve stopped mis behaving

  13. Ba medza   December 25, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Ba mambala bacula that is food for eyes.I hop it won’t be introduced here in zed.

  14. Democrat   December 25, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Lyashi lya pansaka, musenda cipuba. That can’t happen pa zed. Ladies in zed are more informed of their rights.

  15. oasis   December 25, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Men, are not doing fine to be front desk operators.If you want to meet the most rude foolish male chaps go to PATENT AND Company Authority (PACRA)room G21 and F14 ,you will regret going there.

  16. chichi   December 25, 2012 at 7:33 pm


  17. SK   December 25, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Rubbish! Zambia should make it’s own decisions. Why segregate women and impose on them, what clothes to wear? This is going backwards, a polygamous King who chooses a wife from a naked parade of women every year should be the last person to comment on how women should wear. He should ban the reed dance first and stop kidnapping underage teenagers. Women themselves should decide what to wear not men. Zambian women should be proud of their assets and show them.!! We should not let perverts control our lives.

  18. Theoretician   December 25, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    How can a nation with a head of stae with 13 wives and still counting from those reed ceremonies where no underwear is allowed come up with such a law? The reed ceremony/their culture is so deeporoted in exposing/advertising a woman’s sexuality! Sheer hypocrisy and dysfuntional govt institutions typical of AFRICA! Shaa!

  19. CS   December 25, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    To be fair, let them ban the traditional exposure of both thighs and breasts.
    If its immoral let it immoral in all situations.
    Why is it not immoral when it benefits the king.
    Let’s be absolute; wrong or right.

  20. Jude Moraes   December 26, 2012 at 10:27 am

    To all the idiots supporting this story/action taken in Swaziland. How stupid can you be? Banning Mini skirts coz they tempt rapists? That is basically saying the rapists do not have a problem. Its the women who attract them. lets see if this will reduce rape. Doing this is just a stupid as arresting people with children for tempting child molesters? This should never be allowed to happen in Zambia, we are too civilised for this nonsense.

    • Lungowe   December 27, 2012 at 4:56 am

      I concur with you!

  21. ONETIME RELOADED   December 26, 2012 at 11:11 am

    why..thighs raises some adranaline in our body that quenches our thirsty,amatanta ya nkeche zed dnt even think of doing..kukaba massive demonstration..

  22. KamBwekeshepo   December 26, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    2mfweko mwalipena! Why shud Zambia take a leaf? U r chauvinistic journalists who want to impose oppression on women.

  23. Chauvinist Pigs   December 26, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Zambia take a leaf????? Why???????

  24. nakadinya   December 26, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Awe ine kwena napapa sana they are toking about mini skirts what about fhose men and women we see dancing on TV completely naked in the name of tradition they expose there buttocks they only cover there menhood with small pieces of cloths those are the ones they must burn before buring the minis but this is not to say that minis are ok they are not whether those who dress in minis like or not they are bad some of them they even show panties mawe avyakulolavye.

  25. Wanu Ngwee   December 26, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    The intention seems fine, but the monarch contradicts itself by excluding their cultural dress from the ‘prohibited’ category of clothes. The notion of nudity being more acceptable in a cultural dress than that in western type of fashion is absurd to say the least. This matter requires strict laws that responsibly regulate the behaviour of both males and females. Women can still be raped even if they wear metallic dresses if the male perpetrators are not brought to book. In fact laws such as the one to be enforced in Swaziland have a tendency of implying that rape only takes place as a result of sexual provocation of men by women. What provocation can you cite in cases such as the ones in South Africa where young men rape their 80-year-old grandmothers and 2-moth-old babies who do not wear any of the so-called ‘revealing’ clothes?

  26. Culture   December 26, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    Congratulations swaziland. Nomal dresing is 1 way of showing our obedience to God, i wish it was in zambia. . God bles u swaziland 4 this.

  27. HH Is Dull   December 27, 2012 at 12:01 am

    No problem wt dress code, its fine with me. I will be great to see nikas and all the pussy as they exposed wen they ladies hve short skirts