Stunning Zambia’s health minister asked to cover her shoulders by MPs – Photos
Zambia’s Health Minister Sylvia Masebo was forced to cover her shoulders and back with a scarf in the Legislative Assembly after a male MP told the Speaker that her attire was causing ‘psychological noise’ among male MPs.
According to the BBC, Mulenga Fube, the Chilubi MP, asked if Ms Masebo had dressed properly, as her dress showed off her back.
However, the dress covered her chest and shoulders, exposing parts of her back. While the head of the assembly replied that he saw nothing wrong with Sylvia’s dress, he said that she should cover herself because of some complaints.
Minister Masebo compiled, but rights activists termed the incident as discriminatory.
Mirriam Mwiinga of the Young Women Christian Association in Zambia told the BBC that such acts targeted someone based on gender and did not prioritize women’s rights.
While in parliament, Zambian women MPs are only allowed to wear a suit over knee-length skirt or trousers or traditionally ‘appropriate’ clothing.
There is also a formal dress code for men: a suit or trousers, jacket, shirt and tie, traditional ‘suitable’ clothes or long-sleeved safari clothes.
Mid this year, Fube was chased away from parliament for wearing a chitenge skirt by the first Deputy Speaker Attractor Chisangano.
This was after Petauke Independent member of parliament Emmanuel Banda raised a point of order, questioning whether the Chilubi MP was to dress like a woman.
“The point of order is on standing order number 206, on dress code. Is the honourable member of Chilubi in order to dress like a woman? Madam Speaker, with a skirt and a jacket, like he wants to mislead this House into gayism Madam Speaker.”
The lawmaker was directed to go and change his attire, which he did before returning to the House.
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