written by Kaitlin Higgins
Margreth Nunuhe of New Era is reporting that, in Namibia, women will soon be arrested for wearing skirts that are deemed by police to be too “short and revealing.” After this statement from Police Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga, reactions on social media networks were high. While Ndeitunga claimed that the stipulation is to preserve and “underline the importance of culture,” many respondents have been wondering how in touch with African culture the Inspector General is. Some pointed to the even more revealing dress of some young people today, and others have argued that if the legislation was truly in the name of outlawing un-African clothing, “we must go back to our original African theme of wearing hand made clothes from animal skin such as the Himbas.” Likewise, many agree that such a law is sexist and oppressive and have organized to wear mini-skirts in protest this Friday.
“Amanda Kaipiti Utjiua said the banning of mini-skirts was oppression towards women, a sexist view and a way of shifting focus from serious issues at hand such as finding Shanduka. ‘We have a lot of things that are unAfrican including the Bible and Christianity which was brought by the missionaries, the clothes, means of transportation and all kinds of machines. Mind you people in the past (we) use(d) to wear clothes made from animal skin, use(d) to believe in ancestors and used to travel by foot or donkey even on cattle’s (sic),’ she said, adding that we have passed the stage of transformation from traditional societies to a modern society many years ago.
‘Holy Saudi Arabia. Why is it that when ‘African culture’ is invoked to justify a repressive measure, it sounds so much like rightwing Christianity? The San and Himba are also African last time I checked. Arresting women for wearing mini-skirts? That’s not a good sign people,’ wrote Rob Parker. “