Jonglei women decry restriction on dressing

Jonglei women decry restriction on dressing
Some of the girls walking in Bor Town, the Capital of Jonglei State. (photo credit: courtesy)

Jonglei State women under the ‘Sisterhood Solidarity Call’ entity are urging the police to stop the restrictions on female dressing.

The group called on the state government to bring to justice the police involved in the stripping of women naked in the Bor town.

In a press statement issued yesterday, the women said violence against women on the pretext of indecent dressing is a continued violation of their rights.

“It is with great shock and dismay that we, the young women of Jonglei State at Sisterhood Solidarity Call have learned of the brutal and barbaric humiliation exercises being carried out by the security personnel against women and girls living in Bor Town. 

“Women are being targeted, beaten, and stripped naked by the security apparatus in Bor in direct violation of their constitutional rights,” read the statement.

The women called for an immediate solution to the problem.

“We are calling on Jonglei authorities, community leaders, and Jonglei members of the Revitalised Transitional Legislative Assembly (RTNLA) to urgently look into this matter and demand immediate corrective action.”

They described the practice as a gross infringement on the freedom of women.

They urged the government to protect women rights.

“We demand that all the perpetrators are identified and face justice. We want to remind the Government of Jonglei State that the punishment does not only discourage transgressors from repeating crimes but also serves as a deterrent to future offenders,” the statement read in part.

The women also called upon the government of Jonglei State and “all law enforcement agencies to observe and respect the principles of International Human Rights Law and to apply the laws in this particular case’’.

They further stated: “We appeal to the state and national governments to educate traditional leaders on statutory laws to prevent further violations of said laws and conventions.”

Alleged harassment

On October 29, Eye Radio reported complaints from young women who complained of being harassed by police officers for “wearing indecently’’.

They are mostly young women—are single and married—who wear short skirts or trousers. 

Jonglei State police spokesperson Daniel Majak confirmed the crackdown on indecent addressing to Eye Radio  

“Short skirts which partially expose most parts of the body of the woman like she is dressed half-naked, and she is moving on a public road? That does not show any good moral value,” he said.

He added: “When a woman is caught putting on the short skirt, she is advised by the security personnel to go and change. That was the decision taken in one of the security meetings.”

Several of the sources found wearing short skirts or trousers reported that their clothes were torn and left half-naked. 

 “A month ago, there was this rule in Bor town whereby if you wore a short skirt, you are beaten or if you walk with your husband and you have a short skirt, you are beaten together with your husband,” said an anonymous source.

“They would ask the man why the woman is wearing like that; sometimes they can even take you to prison.”