- East Africa
- Women - Security
Ugandan women don’t want their breasts checked by police
Women in Uganda have protested against their breasts being checked for bombs at entry points to public places.
The protest comes after a directive from the police demanding that womens’ bras should be checked thoroughly. They argue that terrorists are now manufacturing suicide bombs similar to bras.
Uganda police counter terrorism expert, Lodovick Awita while addressing public places operators in Kampala said "Terrorits are devising new methods of attack to beat the tight security measures. They are now making suicide bomb vests similar to bras. We therefore appeal to security personnel to check women’s bras."
But women in Uganda have not taken the information lightly. "That is tatamount to abusing our privacy. Why should they touch our breasts simply because they claim they are checking for bombs. Breasts are among the most private parts of women and should no be touched by anyone," said women’s activist Salama Namuddu during a press interview in Kampala today.
Namuddu believes that instead of giving security personnel a valid pretext to touch women’s breasts, the police should rather place metal detectors at all entry points to public places.
According to her "In this modern world there are gadgets which can be used to detect bombs rather than physical checking of individuals. They can use metal and bomb detectors."
A women’s rights advocate, Beatrice Akie, has also spoken against the directive. "If they insist on checking us with their hands we will demonstrate against it" says Beatrice.
But whilst Namaddu argues that modern gadgets should be used, Beatrice Akie She explains that although women should be thoroughly checked for security reasons, it should be done in a way that does not abuse their rights, like the use of scanners.
Uganda is under threats of attacks by Al Shabab who accuse it for taking its troops Somalia for peacekeeping missions.