Days after signing the Anti-Pornography Act 2014 into law, The Observer has noted a change in the revellers’ dress codes in the city.

A trip around town on Friday night showed that women’s hemlines had dropped towards the knees. At YMCA, which attracts lots of women for the Friday Night Lights, most women played safe with jeans.

Sandra Mbabazi says she has been putting on short skirts almost all her life, but on this occasion at the Serena, she was wearing a skirt, just above the knees. Her plan was to be cautious during the day but wear her mini at night.

“One can’t put on something long for club. They make you look like a nun. Some people have got good legs, how will they show them off’?” she asked rhetorically, before adding, “I can’t even put on a pair of pants. It has to be a miniskirt.”

For writer Mildred Apenyo, the new law will not change her dress code.

“How I dress, what I watch and read is my business. That will not change until I decide that it changes,” she said.

“We have rape all over the place, molestation is as common as pimples and yet instead of our anti-pornography law putting strict penalties in place against street molesters they are there eyeing hemlines.”

But others were more cautious, especially after the Friday incident, where a woman at Kisekka market was literally stripped naked, for wearing a skirt that the mob considered too exciting. Indeed, finding a miniskirt-clad woman during the day proved a hard task on Saturday.

However, The Observer has established that the new law has nothing to do with the length or shortness of women’s dresses.

Although the initial draft bill sought to restrict women’s dress freedoms, the law that was ultimately passed targets media organisations that show what is deemed to be pornographic material.

And this includes images “of a person engaged in real or [simulated] explicit sexual activities or any representation of the sexual parts of a person for primary sexual excitement.”

The apparent misreading of the law could be blamed on Ethics Minister Simon Lokodo. He suggested on February 18 the law would ultimately help fight indecent dressing.

“If you are dressed in something that irritates the mind and excites other people especially of the opposite sex, you are dressed in wrong attire and please hurry up and change,” Lokodo was quoted as having told journalists at the Uganda Media Centre.

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+6 #1 Betty Long Cap 2014-02-23 22:54
Prostitutes are the trendsetters. How a woman dresses may well be her business.
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+17 #2 Kasimire 2014-02-23 23:07
Most of these MPS who passed law engage in adultery,fornic ation and corruption on a daily basis and its puzzling where and how they have the guts of dictating morals to their fellow countrymen and women.

The Ugandan parliament should concentrate on educating the people, then they would know the difference between freedom in dress and freedom to abuse a woman.
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+3 #3 james 2014-02-24 08:07
The law on Miniskirts won't make it. Will you stop different culture expressing themselves during dancing and drama.

How about our sister and brother from Karimajong,Bagi su etc. The problem is not miniskirts that our country is facing; corruption, dictatorship, unemployment,po or service delivery etc.

All this law makers should be fired together with their president as they have failed to address needs most Ugandans
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+6 #4 Kiwa Sam 2014-02-24 09:02
Reminds one of Iddi Amin times. Laughable, how people used to ridicule Iddi Amin on the mini-skirt decree, and now see this!!
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+3 #5 Paul 2014-02-24 09:34
I heard a first haand account of the woman who was undressed at Kiseka and it was indeed shameful and criminal. These goons took used this bill as an excuse to undress and molest this woman.

We should focus our energies on proteecting our children form expsoure to porn from the front pages of tabloids, bimansulo, and porn movies sold openly on our streets Reducing this bill to the miniskirt bill has cheapened it
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+4 #6 Nkongih lll 2014-02-24 11:49
Now you can see why I keep calling for the parliament to be abolished. Uganda women have every right to dress in any way they feel like.

It is the men who cannot control their randy eyes that are now using legislation to cover their weakness. How pathetic!!!
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+1 #7 Betty Long Cap 2014-02-24 15:05
Quoting Nkongih lll:
Uganda women have every right to dress in any way they feel like. It is the men who cannot control their randy eyes....

Nkongih lll, you understand human nature. Women know exactly how to ignite an infernal fire of desire in men who are easily manipulated through the eye-gate. But not every man wants his wife, girlfriend, significant other, even daughter on display to every Tom, Dick, and Harry.

Parliament attempts to legislate haute couture is to protect both sexes: one from roving eyes and the other from Straße Frau who push the envelope.

In like manner also, that women should adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobermindedness , not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly array, 1 Timothy 2:9
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+1 #8 Nkongih lll 2014-02-25 11:33
Betty Long Cap, I totally and fully endorse your assertion that 'women know how to ignite an infernal fire of desire in men' .. yes they do and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Betty Long Cap, pleaseeee, what happened to 'self control'?

Surely if we, men cannot exercise self-control, which is the very key to life, then we must accept responsibility for our weaknesses.

Just as much as we respect women who prefer to were veils and long dresses, we should equally respect those women who prefer wearing minis and micro minis.

As a very strong advocate of human rights, it is my belief that legislation of any kind regarding female attire is a blatant violation of female human rights.

It is my strong belief that only the church and the family can play a role in 'advising' what is deemed appropriate attire .. and I mean "advising" .. because at the end of the day, it is up to individuals to decide for themselves what they would like to wear and that is their prerogative.
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+1 #9 Betty Long Cap 2014-02-25 13:36
Quoting Nkongih lll:
... because at the end of the day, it is up to individuals to decide for themselves what they would like to wear and that is their prerogative.

Yes, Nkongih, you make valid points but women have always traveled at their own risk. Like many Christian women in my community, I wear long dresses and the veiling while freer spirits expose almost every tattoo on their bodies. I have been mistaken for a Catholic nun but never propositioned.

Takes the right bait to catch the right fish.
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+1 #10 unguja 2014-02-25 13:42
Enjoying the African Culture to its fullest?

I think we shall see this other highpoint of african culture making a comeback on the back of the gay laws: Corrective Rape.
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0 #11 Ndiwulila 2014-02-25 15:24
I thought man was meant to be superior in thought and reasoning and therefore able to control himself.

These badly brought-up animals that do not have self control need to be shackled or kept in some kind of isolation, away from the public. Just an excuse for insanity and psychotic behavior.
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0 #12 Akot 2014-02-25 19:27
When a woman dresses up, it always to make sure she is the only one seen-sight out! Women forget that they also are flowers-mothers-sisters-daughters...

Even in sports clothes, men always dress covering their private parts well, while women expose the most of their private parts!
Service girls at recreational places are barely dressed while their male co workers are well covered!

The same applies to our traditional dances where women are almost naked & dance provocatively!
Having said that, women still seem not to know who should decide how they are dressed - the dress makers-designers...!

Women must decide how much of their private parts they want to show in public & yet retain some body privacy or even in presence of children!
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0 #13 Akot 2014-02-25 19:39
We should also remember that so many children live in families where the man in the house is not the father! How girls dress in such situation can play a big part in the behaviour of the mother's partner when they are alone!

Those of us at schools during Amin's era recall how we cut our uniforms so short to defy him! So many women were bitten at road blocks for wearing mini skirts!

One American singer who is always almost naked on stage was carressed on the buttocks by a fan - I wonder if the fan was even aware of what he was doing-carried away & couldn't control his hand! We are told the singer got her gard reinforced!

I would advice her to dress more motherly because these are young boys carried away by the heat of the moment & can't control their hands when the occasion is there!
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-1 #14 Wadada Rogers 2014-02-26 00:46
wow, nice body, i hope observer does not get punished for promoting porn thru this picture
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0 #15 Phalanch 2014-02-26 03:06
Choose the behavoirs , automatically cames along the consiquesences. This wont come cheap for the already clambling Uganda prison system.

Unless those convicted from the outside are going to rehab centres or different prisons system other than joining the already inffected crowded system by the same act they are being locked up for.

What is the massage?? . and with M7 playing santa claus to South Sudan with tax payers money as they say!!!!!????? The price tag is way more than we can all afford. as always, Time is to do the talking about this one.
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