swazilandSwaziland, a small, conservative country in Sub-Saharan Africa, has banned women from wearing miniskirts and crop tops in public, The Daily Mail reports. According to police officials, these clothing items “encourage rape.” Any woman caught wearing rape-provoking clothing could face jail time of six months.

The push for the clothing ban comes from a colonial criminal act that was instituted in the monarchy back in 1889. At the time, women were prohibited from wearing clothing that exposed their bodies.

Two-thirds of teenage girls in Swaziland have been victims of sexual assault, the South African Independent Online reports. According to police spokesperson Wendy Hleta, women are creating dangerous situations for themselves by sporting short threads:

“The act of the rapist is made easy, because it would be easy to remove the half-cloth worn by the women. We do not encourage that women should be harmed, but at the same time people should note acceptable conduct of behavior,” Hleta said.

The ban also restricts women from wearing low-slung jeans and tank-tops. Sadly, this move by the government seems to aggrandize the issue of victim-blaming when it comes to sexual assault.

Do you think it’s fair to ban certain types of women’s clothing in Swaziland?

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  1. When peop finally accept that rape is not a “sexual” act and that it is a violent act of one person trying to take the power of another in order to empower themselves nothing will change. Rape is a tool used to opress it’s victim, so it doesn’t matter what you wear or do, it is never the victim’s fault they have been assaulted. The thing I find so interesting is that men’s attire or actions are not mentioned. So what are they saying men cannot be rape victims? What about children? Are they going to put limits on the way diapers are worn by babies? How about elderly women what is it about them that makes men want to assault them? It’s not about the victim! Some countries are so backwards with the way they think.

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  2. According to more updated reports, Swaziland officials state that Swiziland media outlets got their information wrong, and that there is no ban on rape-provoking clothing. http://www.sowetanlive.co.za/news/2012/12/28/swaziland-denies-miniskirt-ban

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  3. Isn’t this the same country that has a traditional ceremony in which thousands of young women/girls dance topless in front of the king? (Google Swaziland Reed Dance). Makes mini skirts and tube tops almost look Victorian

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  4. Anthony

    Yes, it’s the same country.

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