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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Attacks on Women in Lilongwe

As the economic situation in Malawi continues to worsen and tension continues to rise there were some random attacks on women wearing trousers or short skirts around Lilongwe  one day last week. Under the nearly 30-year rule of Hastings Kamuzu Banda, women in Malawi were banned from wearing pants and mini-skirts. Men were forbidden from having long hair until 1994.

This has even managed to garner some coverage from The Irish Times quoting the president as saying
"I will not allow anyone to wake up and go on the streets and start undressing women and girls wearing trousers, because that is illegal"
 Nancy Tembo, spokeswomen for the opposition Malawi Congress Party was also quoted as saying the public stripping amounted to violence against women.
"Police women wear trousers, mechanic women wear trousers, why do we have to live in fear?" she told the Nyasa Times.
Lilongwe police havesaid any men arrested will likely be charged with breach of peace and theft. Riot police were patrolling the streets of Lilongwe to prevent further attacks although since the incident occurred there as been no further reports of anything similar.

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