Women in Swaziland are in danger. The country is re-implementing a colonial criminal act from 1889 to stop women wearing clothes that expose their body…and that bans miniskirts, low-slung jeans and tank tops. The reason why authorities are eager to ban these outfits -two hirds of teenage girls are declared to be victims of sexual assault – does not seem very legitimate. In fact, the ‘indlatmu’ costume, a traditional outfit that women wear when they dance for King Mswati (so to say, a very tiny beaded belt) which allow them to be topless and with the rest of the body really…exposed, is not forbidden by the law. Conservative hypocrisy? Probably.
It’s a very serious topic: some rights may seem to be obvious, but in some areas and circles, women are still considered through their genders. Bad husbands keep punching their wives, some families are still pretending that such a discrimination is “natural” or is part of a BS tradition. I can’t believe that culture can explain everything, or more precisely excuse unforgivable sins.
It’s probably in Swaziland that our actions should find a new path.