MPs blast Minister Kiwanda over "miss curvy" beauty pageant

By Lisa Nsaba

The lawmakers vowed to not only condemn, but also block the planned beauty pageant dubbed, "miss curvy Uganda."

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The proposal by junior tourism minister, Godfrey Kiwanda to parade physically endowed women as tourist attractors has been roundly rejected as sexist and demeaning the stature of women in society.

The lawmakers vowed to not only condemn, but also block the planned beauty pageant dubbed, "miss curvy Uganda."

"The Minister must apologize to the women of Uganda and halt the event before Parliament resumes next week," Bernard Atiku, (Ayivu County) said while addressing the press at Parliament on Thursday.

The minister, as he launched the pageant on Tuesday this week, said the pageant is a strategy to promote the tourism industry, and will involve sexy curvaceous women and the finalists will be selected later in the year.

Atiku said the negative response the event has gotten should be enough for the Minister to halt as it is being vulgarized on social media with all sorts of shapes of women are being downloaded and flashed all over.

"My fears are based on the experience we as a country have gone through in as far as issues concernimg women, issues like women being sexually harassed just because of their appearance, which event is contributing to," Atiku said.

He said the images being brought forward are misrepresenting women as sex objects, which will also lead to an increase in sexual abuse.

"We already have a number of cases in court of our girls being raped, and this kind of pronouncement is going to aggravate our efforts to do away with sexual violence,"Atiku stated.

He faulted the people in the ministry as well as the Uganda Tourism Board for not technically guiding the Minister on what to support and not to support.

Atiku appealed to the public to desist such events and implored to leaders to help denounce such events.

Pamela Kamugo, (Woman MP Budaka) and chairperson of the Uganda Women's Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) expressed displeasure in the Ministry's move saying it is wrong to use girls of Uganda as objects of tourist attraction.

"I appreciate the contribution of tourism to the Ugandan economy, but we have other tourist attractions like lakes, rivers, animals that we can use to support the industry," Kamugo said.

She condemned the act of using women as objects of tourism attraction and said it is dehumanizing and tantamount to abuse women's dignity.

Gafa Mbwatekamwa (Kasambya County, Mubende) tasked other leaders to come out and condemn the event like they condemned events like Nyegenyege, saying this was worse than such events.

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