In Swaziland, women wearing 'rape-provoking' mini-skirts & jeans risk arrest

Published: 25 December, 2012 16:54 IST | Agencies |

Women in Swaziland are to be arrested if they caught wearing miniskirts, tops which expose part of their stomach or low-rising jeans because their dress provokes rapists, a police spokeswoman has said.

Women in Swaziland, a landlocked kingdom bordering South Africa, have been warned that they risk arrest if they wear mini-skirts or tops which expose part of their stomach, BBC reported.

Police spokeswoman Wendy Hleta said police would enforce a law from 1889 that bans "immoral" dressing if officials receive a complaint.

"The act of the rapist is made easy because it would be easy to remove the half-cloth worn by the women," Hleta was quoted as saying by the Times of Swaziland newspaper.

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

Women in Swaziland banned from wearing mini-skirts, low-rising jeans
This dress is illegal in Swaziland now. Representational Picture

"I have read from 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," Hleta said.

In November, police stopped women in mini-skirts from marching in Manzini city against rape.

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

Anyone arrested and found guilty of "immorality" could receive a fine of up to $10 or a jail-term of up to six months if they fail to pay the fine.

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

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