Uganda Public Workers Resist New Dress Code
Ugandans are reacting to new clothing requirements for government employees.
Women in a government job are no longer permitted to wear a short skirt or large earrings. And male civil servants must wear a jacket and necktie in the office.
The Ministry of Public Service released the requirements on "decent dressing" last week. The new rules have angered some civil servants.
Women activists say the rules get Ugandans thinking about things other than the real issues facing the country. Perry Aritua is head of the Women's Democracy Network.
"When a girl is dressed a certain way, that doesn't mean she's calling for your attention. Let us focus on the real issues that Ugandans are grappling with -- the theft of our public resources, the inefficiency in service delivery, the absenteeism in public service, the capacity needs that public service has."
The directive bars female public employees from wearing tight clothing, open-toed shoes and skirts or dresses above the knees. Bright-colored nail polish, hair extensions and "exaggerated make-up" are also on the banned list.
Male public servants must wear dark pants but they cannot be too tight around the legs. And men may only wear closed-toe black or brown shoes.
Adah Muwanga is the human resource manager at the Ministry of Public Service.
"People in Uganda have a perception of what a public officer should look like and this is the image we are trying to protect and preserve. We are saying not above the knee, and for one reason, above the knee you know what it means, it can also be tantamount to sexual harassment, because when you sit you are exposing your thighs, which is not generally accepted and it can distract others from work."
Rights groups say earlier guidance to civil servants was enough. A 2010 public order required clothing to be neat and practical for one's job.
Ugandans have written to local newspapers about the new rules. One lawyer noted that "rights aren't taken away overnight. They are taken away in small bits."
A reporter working for VOA spoke to a government employee who did not want to tell her name.
"Me I think, my bright nails cannot distract someone, so the government should not discuss about that."
The punishments for disobeying the new rules are unclear. The order said violations would be reported to the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Public Service.
I'm Jonathan Evans.
1.government employees 公务员
Government employees and officers also stayed away from work during the strike.
2.human resource 人力资源
The volunteer is the important human resource to promote community construction and development.
3.focus on 专注于
The talks will focus on economic development of the region.
4.sexual harassment 性骚扰
Sexual harassment of women workers by their bosses is believed to be widespread.
1."When a girl is dressed a certain way, that doesn't mean she's calling for your attention.
calling for 呼吁
The Prime Minister is calling for new restraints on trade unions.
Parliament adopted a resolution calling for the complete withdrawal of troops.
2.They are taken away in small bits."
take away 带走；拿走
They're going to take my citizenship away.
Add up the bills for each month. Take this away from the income.
在政府部门任职的女性不许穿短裙，戴大耳环 。而男公务员在办公室内必须穿长袖衬衫、打领带 。
上周，乌干达公共事务部公布了“得体着装”的相关要求 。新规定让一些公务员深感不快 。
女性活动家表示，新规定让乌干达人考虑的不是国家面临的真实境况，而是一些其他的事情 。佩里（Perry Aritua）是女性民主网络的领袖 。
“一个女孩用某种方式打扮，并不意味着她想引起你的注意 。我们还是将重心放在乌干达人正努力克服的实际问题上，如窃取公共资源、服务运输效率低下、公共服务懈怠、公共服务的能力需求等问题 。”
新规定还禁止女公务员穿着紧身衣物、露趾鞋和遮不住膝盖的短裙或连衣裙 。禁止的名单上还包括鲜亮颜色的指甲油、接发以及“夸张的妆容” 。
男公务员须穿着深色裤子，裤腿不能太紧 。而且男性也只能穿不露趾的黑色或棕色鞋子 。
“乌干达人对公职人员的形象有特定的认知，而我们也想维护并保留这一形象 。新规定中不能穿膝盖以上的裙子，原因之一就是，大家都知道不过膝盖的衣物意味着什么，相当于性骚扰，因为坐着的时候大腿裸露在外，这是大众无法接受的，还会让其他人无法专心工作 。”
人权组织表示，先前的公务员准则已经足够了 。2010年的准则要求是穿着整洁，方便工作 。
乌干达民众向当地报纸表达了对新准则的看法 。一名律师指出：“权利的剥夺不是一蹴而就，而是逐渐地被剥离 。”
对于违反新准则的处罚尚不明确 。新准则上指出，违反行为将上报到公共事务部的常务秘书 。