News Brief

The University of Zambia Issues Apology to Female Students For Issuing 'Half-Naked' Dress Code Warning

The school has rescinded the highly-contested policy, stating that it "will not tolerate old discredited misogynist views in our space."

UPDATE 5/8: The University of Zambia has issued an apology to its female students, stating that it would not tolerate sexist attitudes towards women. BBC Africa, shared some quotes from Christine Kanyengo, the university's librarian on Tuesday:

"The said poster does not reflect who we are; we are a space that promotes access to all our library materials to people from all walks of life. We urge all our female University of Zambia Library users to feel comfortable when using their library."
"The University of Zambia has no dress code. Tolerance and diversity is the bedrock of our institution; the University of Zambia Libraries will not tolerate old discredited misogynist views in our space."

Dikina Muzeya, a student at the university and one of the most outspoken critics of the rules, told BBC Africa that she's welcomed the apology, but urges the instution to be more sensitive towards matters of gender equality moving forward:

"In the future, they should really mind not being sexually bias. Both genders need to be treated equally. The library management should be more conscious about notices that are published, especially notices involving restrictions such as dress code on a particular sex."

Continue for yesterday's story:

A university in Zambia has come under fire, for releasing a notice telling female students not to dress "half-naked" in order to not distract their male colleagues.

A picture of a notice that was placed in the school's library has been widely shared on social media. "It has come to our attention that some female students dress half-naked as they use the library, a situation which is disturbing the male students," reads the notice.

"We therefore advise the female students to dress modestly as you use university facilities. Modesty is the way to go!"


Many female students have contested the message. One student Dikina Muzeya told BBC Africa, that the male students should take responsibility for their own actions and focus on their work, rather than women's bodies.

"If your mission of going to the library is to study, why should you start looking at other things like a female's legs," said Muzeya. "Just concentrate on your books, that's all."

Many online agree with her sentiments. Why should women's bodies be policed to "protect" men. The issue has sparked a conversation between Zambian men and women online around sexual assault and victim-blaming.




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