Miniskirt ban in Swaziland to prevent rape: Cops

(Fotolia)

(Fotolia)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:20 AM ET

Police in Swaziland, Africa, have banned women from wearing miniskirts and crop tops in a bid to prevent rape.

Women caught wearing revealing clothes could face up to six-months in prison, police told a press conference on the weekend.

"They will be arrested," police spokeswoman Wendy Hleta said, the Independent Online reported.

Low-rise jeans have also been outlawed.

Bans on revealing clothing have been in place in the southern African kingdom since colonial times in 1889, but haven't been enforced.

"The act of the rapist is made easy because it would be easy to remove the half-cloth worn by the women," Hleta said, the Independent quoted her as saying.

"I have read from the social networks that men and even other women have a tendency of 'undressing people with their eyes.' That becomes easier when the clothes are hugging or are more revealing," Hleta said.

The law does not apply to traditional costumes worn by young women in ceremonies where King Mswati III chooses a wife. The king already has 13 wives. During the ceremony, topless women wear traditional beaded skirts that don't cover the back.

The country has the world's highest known HIV/AIDS rate with about 26% of adults living with the disease, according to the Swaziland HIV Incidence Measurement Survey released in March.

In 2004, bus conductors in the country threatened to sexually assault female passengers who wore short skirts. The threat followed the arrest of two conductors and a bus driver charged in the gang rape of an 18-year-old student.

 


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