There is public outrage in Uganda after the launch of a beauty contest for curvy women.
The pageant was launched in the capital Kampala on Tuesday by the State Minister for Tourism, Mr Godfrey Kiwanda.
Kiwanda says the contest is part of tourism promotion to boost the tourism sector.
The Daily Monitor quotes him as saying that “We have naturally endowed nice looking women that are amazing to look at. Why don’t we use these people as a strategy to promote our tourism industry?”
But not everyone is happy with such an initiative. Most women in Uganda say the contest is demeaning since it seeks to promote their bodies as sex objects.
A Ugandan woman has already started an online petition to have the Miss Curvy Uganda contest cancelled.
Ms Primrose Murungi’s petition reads “I personally feel attacked. This is degrading of women. In a country where women are grabbed by men while walking on the streets and now they have legalised it by making them tourist attractions is not fair.”
Murungi says in her petition that Uganda is “objectifying us and reducing women to nothing.
Please sign this petition for ministry of tourism to take down the Miss Curvy challenge and offer an apology to the public as well.”
Other women groups have also called for the contest to be canceled and an apology rendered by the tourism minister.
Women are not a tourist attraction. They are not an object for pleasure. They are not a money minting project. Minister Kiwanda must take back his words and apologize to women.
Hon. Winnie used today’s presser to condemn the move to declare Ugandan women tourist attractions pic.twitter.com/NAOH1F9ZhR
— UgandaWomen’sNetwork (@uwonet) February 6, 2019
Reactions on social media
There have been reactions on social media from Ugandans.
— Musoga girl??? (@PearlElisabeth) February 6, 2019
How’s Miss Curvy Uganda connected to tourism in this country?
Something is seriously not right!
— Derrick Kabuye (@kabderrick) February 5, 2019
Whats wrong with Uganda?
Miss Curvy???for what? Someone enlighten me about this,I know am not curvy but what is this supposed to mean?
The whole ministry of tourism behind this???? hilarious.
— apple byte?? (@KakyeAnn) February 5, 2019
Miss curvy Uganda ??????????? my country is failing. Are they going to use our taxes?
— Malaika? (@AngelMugabe) February 6, 2019
I totally agree with the idea, ?? most African women are curvy Let’s have the miss Uganda that recognizes the international model size and one that recognizes reality ??♂️?
— #89gooddecisions (@Marouganda) February 6, 2019
Countries ar organizing important events,Uganda tourism minister is busy changing ambassadors out of nowhere,arranging useless events .
What’s the relevance of this Miss Curvy contest! Undermining our morals.
I don’t know many women activists, @GodberTumushabe help me alert them.
— @AaronAinomugisha (@AaronAinomugis3) February 6, 2019
Are we running out of ideas or its too much creativity..
in support to tourism industry.
wildlife vs women in Uganda.
@Tourismuganda Mr. kiwanda,i will compete in the next promotion.thank you. #MisSCurvyUganda.. pic.twitter.com/2rzG7D96lH
— smk polite kaada (@23polite) February 6, 2019
But Pageant organiser Ann Mungoma has defended the initiative, according to Daily Monitor reports.
She said the contest “will bring out the endowment of the real African woman”.
It is “an exceptional event that will see young ladies showcase their beautiful curves and intellect”, Mungoma adds.