Botswana’s government recently ban civil servants from wearing short skirts, tight pants, head scarves, or any outfit that reveals “too much” of the body, especially the cleavages. Now women of that country are protesting and saying it’s sexist. Here’s the story.
I guess the question is when is short too short? And when is tight too tight? I also like to think of what Botswana’s government would define as -- dressing in a manner appropriate for public office. – Turtlenecks?
While I understand that there has to be a set of guidelines to what is acceptable and moderate, I also think African countries need to be more considerate in the restraints they put on women. I’m totally in for dressing modestly. I think simplicity can even be more attractive sometimes. However, some laws can actually be disguised means of subduing women.
Truly some women can dress very tempting, this I do not support or encourage, but we should not also forget that some men can be blamed for lacking self-control. Even when a woman covers all her body, some can still see a loophole.
There seems to be an imbalance in this law because it laid no restrictions on men. Although the government’s spokesman, Jeff Ramsay told the BBC that the dress code applies to both men and women.
The funny part of the story is banning elaborate hairstyles and headscarves because it’s considered traditional. While this is happening in Botswana, some countries in Africa are really encouraging their civil servants to wear traditional outfits to work. Some even encourage elaborate head ties.
For example, many TV stations in Nigeria have made it a rule for their anchors to appear in native outfits, saying it’s a way of celebrating their culture.
In the next few weeks, I like to see what the government of Botswana will approve as dressing in a manner appropriate for public office. What do you think?
About Adeola Oladele