Indecent Women deserve to be raped, Ugandan legislator says

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In today’s (September 24th) edition of the Daily Monitor,Ugandan Youth Minister Ronald Kibule is quoted as saying;
“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,”
This is not the first time he has said such a thing. In December 2012, during the opening of a Youth camp in Kayunga, Kibuule stated that indecent dressing is the reason for the high rates of defilement and rape in this country.

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Rape victims who are dressed indecently have themselves to blame, according to Youth Affairs minister Ronald Kibule.

Addressing youth in Kajara County, Ntungamo District on Saturday, Mr Kibule said the police should instead charge the victims with inviting the crime.

The minister, who was attending the launch of Kajara Youth Development Cooperative and Savings Society, said the police must scrutinise each rape case reported to them to establish the dress code of the victim. He added that once it is established that the victim was indecently dressed, the suspect should be set free.

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 minister’s comments on rape have drawn immediate criticism, especially from women activists, with one female MP advising Mr Kibule to “have self-control”. “I don’t support wearing of miniskirts but on the other hand a man who is normal cannot go and rape a woman because she is putting on a miniskirt. He should have self-control,” said Mbarara Woman MP Emma Boona. “It’s not written anywhere in the laws. How does he measure a mini skirt? Does he himself rape indecently dressed women he sees?”

Not only is the Honourable Mr Kibule blaming victims of rape for the heinous crime enacted upon them, he is actively encouraging impunity for those who rape and suggesting that this impunity is enshrined in Ugandan law.
Sexual violence remains one of the leading crimes in Uganda but the perpetrators often go unpunished. According to a 2011 Crime and Traffic Police Report, while some 8,000 cases on defilement and 520 cases of rape were investigated, only 269 suspects were arrested and charged in court. Over 197 cases have been reported in the media between June and September 2013 alone.
A much larger number of rapes go unreported because of victim-blaming of the kind Mr Kibuule espouses, and the abject failure of our justice system to prosecute and put away rapists.
This is less than a month after 9 year old Hanisha Nambi was brutally raped and murdered near her home in Kawempe. Is Mr Kibuule suggesting that a 9 year old girl could have invited rape and murder upon herself?
The Honourable Minister does not represent my views as a young person and I would suggest that he is actively going against the interest of those young women who he claims to represent.

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