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Last Updated: Monday, 1 March, 2004, 12:51 GMT
Mini-skirt 'ban' worries Kenyans
Woman in mini-skirt
Two women have been stripped for wearing mini-skirts and hipster trousers
Anxiety has gripped women in Kenya's port city Mombasa after leaflets hit the streets telling them not to wear mini-skirts or other revealing clothes.

The leaflets warned that women wearing short skirts or "hipster" trousers risked being stripped in public.

The government has denied rumours that it had banned such revealing clothes from 1 March.

Security Minister Chris Murungaru has said the government will arrest any groups who attempt to harass women.

Last week, vigilantes stripped two women for wearing hipster trousers.

Traditional values

The BBC's Jamhuri Mwavyombo in Mombasa says women have vowed not to be intimidated by male chauvinists who have allegedly authored the leaflets.

"Nobody can tell me what to wear, since I am big enough and I can take care of myself," a woman told the BBC.

In Mombasa, a majority of the residents are Muslim and some women cover themselves from head to toe.

But a religious scholar in the town, Sheikh Mohammed Sheikh has told the BBC that although Islam disapproves of dressing in mini-skirts and tight trousers, he does not support a compulsory dress code because Kenya is not a Muslim state.

Two years ago, members of the outlawed Mungiki religious sect launched a similar crackdown under the guise of upholding the traditional values of the Kikuyu ethnic group.

Country profile: Kenya
22 Nov 03  |  Country profiles

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