According to Uganda’s Youth Affairs Minister Ronald Kibuule, women who are dressed indecently are asking to be raped, and suspects who have raped such women should be released. He also said that in cases of rape, police should first ascertain the dress code of the victim, and if they were dressed indecently, they should also be charged with inviting the crime.
Kibuule made the comments in Kajara County, Ntungamo District while attending the launch of Kajara Youth Development Cooperative and Savings Society. The comments appeared on Uganda’s newspaper Daily Monitor on September 24, 2013. The article, however, did not explain the context in which Kibuule made the comments.
When this newspaper called him last evening to verify these reports, the minister reiterated his position, noting that indecent dressing was “an open invite to rapists”.
“I have talked to the IGP and the police in Kampala to see that if a woman is raped they look at how she was dressed. Most women currently dress poorly especially the youth. If she is dressed poorly and is raped, no one should be arrested,” Mr Kibule said.
Asked to define what amounted to indecent dressing, the minister, who is also Mukono North MP, listed mini-skirts, bikinis and tight jeans.
The parliament has summoned the minister to appear before it to explain the comment he made last week.
Ms Rita Aciro, the executive director at Uganda Women’s Network, said: “It is unfortunate that we have such leaders in this country. Does he know that there are laws in this country against rape? He is obviously misleading many men by saying that it is okay for them to go ahead and rape women who put on short skirts. Mr Kibule should come out and issue an apology to the people of this country. We live in a civil society that respects people’s rights.”
A petition on Change.org calls for his resignation:
By these words, Mr. Kibuule is promoting the rape of women based on their dress code; he is excusing rapists for their crimes against supposedly scantily clad women and; he is ensuring that victims of rape are afraid to come forward for fear of being persecuted for being raped. He should lose his position immediately since he clearly does not represent the well being of his constituents.