I am not a tourist attraction and neither are a million other Ugandan women. Leaders should focus on matters of national importance and not just speak because they are supposed to.
Having reviewed this subject, I say a strong NO to Mr. Kiwanda's statements about “Miss Curvy Initiative”.
Mr. Kiwanda was appointed as the state minister for tourism to market Uganda as a country, not to market Ugandan women. In fact, this is sexual harassment - viewing women as property, objects, commodities; to mention but a few.
We have women of valor- vibrant and full of progressive ideas that can transform our families, communities, countries and the entire world. We can contribute to the growth of the economy in a more decent way as opposed to being in a “zoo” to attract tourists.
As a point of correction, the “beauty queens” are not crowned so that they can use their bodies to promote the country. If this was the case, then there's no difference between them and international prostitutes!
Beauty queens are selected based on several criteria: intelligence and the ability to create a positive impact in the society. The aim is for them to be good ambassadors not to promote their bodies.
The whole ‘Miss Curvy’ contest is becoming a critical issue and it needs to be addressed. What hurts me most is that sexual harassment is perceived as normal in our society. There is a need to break the chains of gender stereotype. Let us empower girls and women to resist all forms of violence and become ambassadors of change.
A woman is your mother, sister, wife or daughter. They deserve to be protected and loved.
To our dear parents or guardians outside there, please provide what is enough for your girl child if you are able to.
Some parents or guardians think bringing a girl to University and paying her tuition fees is enough- no stipend for accommodation, food and other necessities. This puts the lives of the girl child at risk- some opt for prostitution, extra marital affairs and other ways to fend for themselves.
Conclusively, parents and guardians are trying their best to keep girls at school, however, more needs to be done to avoid dropouts, unplanned pregnancies and other negative outcomes. Even though boys are also affected, girls are at higher risk because of their vulnerability.
Let’s empower and support the girl child to thrive.
I champion and support a violence-free environment that enables women and girls to blossom!
For God and My Country