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Curvy Women In Uganda To Be Used As “Tourist Attraction”

By Leah Freeman-Haskin

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Women in Uganda have expressed their outrage and called for the resignation of Tourism Minister Godfrey Kiwanda in response to his newest campaign that features “curvy women” to attract tourists.

“Uganda is endowed with beautiful women,” Kiwanda told AFP news agency on Thursday. “Their beauty is unique and diverse. That’s why we decided to use the unique beauty, the curves … to make this beauty a product to be marketed along with what we already have as a country ranging from nature, the language and food, to make it a tourist attraction.”

The campaign was announced at a press conference on Wednesday where Kiwanda also introduced a new beauty pageant, Miss Curvy Uganda, to further market Ugandan women.

An eruption of public outcry has overcome the East African nation sparking a conversation about the sexual objectification and public safety of women in a male-dominated society.

“Women in Uganda have been attacked while on the streets,” said Ugandan activist Primrose Nyonyozi Murungi. “What happens now that the government is confirming a stereotype that women are sexual objects and can be touched regardless and more so made a product of tourism.”

In an attempt to quell the outrage, Kiwanda insisted that the campaign is not meant to demean women but instead to celebrate the diversity of women’s curves. ”Diverse as we are as a country we have a message to put out there about the different curves our women have, which we believe is a tourism attraction.”

Over 2,000 people have signed a petition launched by Murungi who is also threatening to take the case to court if the campaign is not stopped immediately.

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