Chief Musele in North-Western Province has called for legislative control on women’s dressing to reduce defilement and rape cases.
Speaking during an interactive meeting with other chiefs from the province, Chief Musele said government needed to control the type of dress to wear in the country.
The chief said irresponsible attire by women was one of the main causes of defilement and rape in the country.
“The way our women and girls dress these days is unacceptable; it is what is contributing to these cases of rape and defilement’ he said.
The Chief stressed that the scourge of gender based violence cases such as battery and emotional torture in the country could be minimized if women dress decently.
“How do women expect to be respected if they don’t dress in an acceptable manner. They dress miniskirts that expose their legs, tight jeans, leggings and other exposing clothing,” he said.
Chief Musele said child marriages as well could be reduced if young girls in the communities and various chiefdoms covered their bodies and respect their femininity.
He said government needed to enact a law that provided for what was acceptable dress for Zambian women.
“Government should come up with control measures for women’s dress code to ensure descent attires are worn in the country,” he said.
But Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Permanent Secretary Michael Pwete said government cannot regulate the way women dressed in Zambia.
Reacting to the chiefs sentiments, Mr Pwete said it was not women’s fault but men who raped or defile them.
He said men in society should learn to view women as people and not as sex symbols. “The way women and girls dress cannot be a factor in the causes of gender based violence in the country,” Mr Pwete said.
He said men have continued violating women not because of their dress code but because of selfishness and a perverted mind set.