Zimbabweans React To: Suggestion To Enforce ‘Decent’ Dressing At Colleges

Yesterday, a gender commission Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC) official urged tertiary institutions to introduce a dress code for female students to reduce cases of s_xual harassment.

The suggestion has mostly been met with criticism from the Zimbabwean community on social media who have expressed shock at the idea.

Here are some of the reactions:


The focus on clothes rationalises behaviour of rapists and leads to victim blaming. Its wrong. – Amai vaFarirai

Rapists are the problem. Not clothes. – Dutch Embassy Harare 🇳🇱


Even assuming that what you are saying is true, does that become an excuse for rapist and abusive lecturers who must therefore be protected from girls? The issue is power dynamics, not dressing. It’s a cheap excuse used by weak & perverted individuals. – Alex Magaisa


Madness in some way, though as a nation we should consider that our morals have been dwarfed by our wanton for freedom to do as our heart pleases. Even if that means coming to class half dressed. – Jeiraw


WTF?! So now we’re giving predatory lecturers an excuse to rape and abuse female students? The fact that the gender commission has women (!)in it is not only insulting to ALL women but a step backwards for feminism and gender equality! Again, WTF? – Wonekayi


What the …? Should it not be promoting freedom of expression & protecting women to their bodily integrity without policing their wardrobes. Why should dressing be the focus of this policy and not men’s behaviour? Why are we as men being excused for bad behavior – samuel


A whole gender commission is saying this. We are doomed – Ladybug


Why would you want someone lecturing who can’t control themself? Remove sexual predators from environments where they are exposed to young and vulnerable women. – RS_Magic


1. The students are being held responsible for controlling the actions of grown ass predatory lecturers
2. The NUST DoS makes it sound like young women *want* to stay silent when we all know that often they have no choice &/or are afraid of the repercussions



They need to explain this. The only logical explanation is that the report is inaccurate otherwise they have to explain and retract this most unfortunate statement – VeritasWomen


I remember this gender commission when it was appointed. I had problems with the ages of the commissioners. – V.


Furiously and enthusiastically back pedaling to the middle ages. Unacceptable. – APA Zimbabwe


I dont think the dress code is for campus in general but when going to a lecturer’s office. When a female student goes to a male lecturer’s office with mass cleavage showing, even the pope will feel uncomfortable or take a look. And usually this happens when assignments are due. – Emmanuel maravanyika


An incredibly problematic proposal. It perpetuates a rape culture that tells society that women’s bodies are dangerous, powerful and sexualised, and that men are biologically programmed to objectify and harass them. And that when they are raped it is their fault. – Unopa Makanyanga Unopa Makanyanga


Also Read: Gender Commission Denies Recommending Dress Code Policy

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3 comments on “Zimbabweans React To: Suggestion To Enforce ‘Decent’ Dressing At Colleges

  1. Let The Affected Also Speak
    As we participate in this sensitive and emotive debate, let us ask why we are giving these responses. Is it to simply pass time or just say something because a woman’s rights or a man’s ego are being attacked? Unfortunately it’s a topic that compromises gender equality, so let it be handled it with the seriousness it deserves. Here are some suggestions that are food for thought.
    1. Women organizations should collectively conduct a research and establish at individual level what girls think when they themselves or their friends go for lectures or move around th university campus with” guvhu” out, very low neck and tight shorts/a mini-mini skirt?
    2. Padare should conduct a parallel research to establish what makes a male lecturer or their counterparts want to date or rape a student, rape a baby, a mature citizen or persecute for life anyone who stops them from dating a college student they teach?
    3. Enforcing has some weaknesses. One, there is the sense of freedom being take away. Two, very often if a monitoring mechanism is put in place, there are no financial resources to ensure that the rules put in place are observed.
    4. Instead of enforcing , would it not help that the mindset is dealt with in addition to research, for instance
    • Society should desist from making comments like, inga magara zvakanaka, mave nemadzimai enyu maviri.( you are lucky you now have two wives- referring to the wife and her young sister), the girl can also receive comments like uchashaya chii, handiti murume wenyu aripo.(the girl often receives comments like you are sitting pretty, all your needs and those of your sister will be taken care of by your sister’s husband)
    5. In the meantime, whilst society learns how to manage this issue Suggestions are as follows:
    • It is important to understand what the Zimbabwean rural woman is going through. Very often there is reliance on books and social media. This can compromise the success of the debate as there is need to understand the true mindset of the ethnic grouping in Zimbabwe on these issues
    • It is also important to note that women of rural backgrounds who express reservations on polygamy, are often backlashed. Situations can be created forcing an elder sister who already has seen her sister through college to take into her home now as an adult sister. This often leads to a polygamous situation. International Gender organizations and local urban employees might not be privy to this. There is therefore need to create a funded platform to protect the rural gender activists.
    • Right now, for a number of reasons, married sisters and aunts are living with young sisters and nieces, and have to provide for them including school fees.
     Would it not help if the Gender Commission fought for affordable education and that the state meets building fund and finance for educational trips?

  2. Man should respect, cherish and honor woman. We don’t support sexual bullies at all man should reform. At the same place ladies should respect their bodies and private parts should not seen by anyone. Remember those supporting ladies to dress half naked they are doing that either they are being used by Satan or to gain political votes or power. A woman’s body is sacred should be respected and well covered.
    If you see a house without a durawall, windows , doors etc that anyone can see inside………..

  3. The idea of dress code looks good to a certain extent because it is the dressing that is affecting the mind of someone who did not want to abuse so must be dealt with first

    I went to UZ main compus with my wife and because of She saw, she said please my husband don’t come here again

    So did i want to abuse or rape

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