In a dramatic twist of events, the recently passed Anti-pornography bill (popularly known as the mini-skirt bill) has sparked off a series of acts of violence against women and girls in public places.
Since government announced that President Museveni has assented to the Anti-pornography bill on 18th Feb, 2014, daily media reports showed that many women have since fallen victims to the increasing incidences of sexual assault and torture on the streets of Kampala alone.
These women and girls who are citizens of Uganda have been stripped naked by gangs of men on the pretext that they are indecently dressed. This is an urgent appeal to the Uganda Police Force and KCCA to keep the streets of Kampala safe for mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives by apprehending all those who perpetuate violence towards women and girls.
We women and girls as citizens with equal rights therefore demand for safety and protection and call upon:
1. The Minister of Ethics and Integrity Fr. Simon Lokodo to pronounce himself on this matter distancing these acts from the Anti Pornography Law and also publicly condemn acts of assaulting women and girls in the public places.
2. The Inspector General of Police issues a directive to all police officers to ensure safety of especially women and girls in public places by apprehending all those who engage in acts of sexual harassment and assault of women and girls on the streets of Kampala and other urban centers.
3. Religious and opinion leaders to condemn acts of indecent assault of women and girls and to make public statements that do not incite any form of discrimination against girls and women
4. The public should know that indecent assault is against the law according to the penal code. Police should apprehend all those undressing women and deploy more officers on the streets to provide safety for women.
5. The public should report those suspects who undressed women to police
6. Media; use your spaces to inform the public that undressing women is a criminal offense and anyone who engages in such actions will be apprehended.
7. We support the decision by cabinet to recall the law and repeal the contentious clauses. We urge Cabinet to handle this issue as an emergency!