Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

Uganda’s anti-pornography legislation was repealed after public outrage

The government proposed the law in 2014 to ban the distribution of pornography, which it claimed would assist safeguard women and children.

But advocates contend the legislation was abused, resulting in women being assaulted in the streets for wearing particular kinds of attire, such as miniskirts.

The law has since been invalidated by Uganda’s Constitutional Court.

A panel of five judges unanimously found that parts of the legislation that specified pornographic crimes, including a prohibition on “indecent” apparel, were unconstitutional.

They argued that no damage would occur to society if some prohibitions on actions or things that generate sexual arousal were removed

The adoption of the legislation in 2014 – originally dubbed the “anti-miniskirt” law – led to mass demonstrations in the city, Kampala, when women dressed in short skirts were publicly insulted and attacked.

Several women’s rights groups and human rights attorneys asked the government to examine the legislation and subsequently submitted a petition to the constitutional court.

The group Uganda Women’s Network stated at the time that the law was in contradiction with the country’s constitution, which provides equal rights for both sexes.

Under the legislation, song lyrics and music videos may potentially be classified as pornographic, with musicians risking imprisonment and incarceration.

In 2015, female singer Jemimah Kansiime – popularly known as Panadol Wa’basajja (medication for males) – became the first person to be punished under the legislation.

She risked up to 10 years in jail for a song which euphemistically alluded to men’s sexual prowess.

A BBC report seen by NCMP reveals that the singer’s case was halted, awaiting the result of the appeal to the constitutional court.

A nine-member committee put up when the legislation was established to assist curb the spread of pornography in the nation will now be dissolved, our reporter says.

In 2018, a female model was also jailed in Uganda, a socially conservative nation, after nude pictures of her were released.

The administration has not yet reacted to the decision.

By Chala Dandessa

I am Lecturer, Researcher and Freelancer. I am the founder and Editor at ETHIOPIANS TODAY website. If you have any comment use caalaadd2@gmail.com as email contact. Additionally you can contact us through the contact page of www.ethiopianstoday.com.

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