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Parliament yesterday passed the Anti-pornography Bill, 2011, a new piece of legislation that seeks among others to ban wearing of miniskirts and further clarify the offence of pornography in Uganda’s laws. The government rode on its view that pornography has become such an “insidious social problem” in the country to get the Bill through Parliament.

Miniskirts are under legal restriction in Uganda
Miniskirts are under legal restriction in Uganda

While some lawmakers claimed that the bill violates people’s rights, majority agreed with the government and enacted the Bill.

“With the enactment of the Bill, my dream has been fulfilled,” said Fr Simon Lokodo, the Ethics minister.

However, some MPs complained that the Bill’s definition of pornography was too broad and that it went against Uganda’s tradition of being tolerant of cultural diversity.

The Bill provides for the creation of the Anti-Corruption Committee that will implement the law.

Mr Steven Tashobya, the chairperson of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee whose docket administered the Bill, said pornography fuels sexual crimes against children and women, including rape and child molestation.

The committee said that though the various laws already in existence prohibit pornography, there is no single law to comprehensively deal with the problem of pornography.

What the Bill says

The Bill defines pornography as any cultural practice, form of behaviour or form of communication or speech or information or literature or publication in whole or in part or news story or entertainment or stage play or broadcast or music or dance or art or graphic or picture or photography or video recording or leisure activity or show or exhibition.

It also prohibits any combination of the preceding that depicts unclothed or under clothed parts of the human body such as breasts, thighs, buttocks and genitalia, a person engaged in explicit sexual activities or conduct; erotic behavior intended to cause sexual excitement and any indecent act or behavior tending to corrupt morals.

Source: The Monitor