Women Members of Parliament under the Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) led by the Chairperson, Pamela Nasiyo have expressed dismay ad called for apology from the Minister of State for Tourism for using women as tourism objects.
The Minister, Godfrey Kiwanda on Tuesday launched the pageant which will see the most curvaceous women selected and crowned later in the year.
During the launch, Kiwanda said that the curvy women are one of the many products Uganda can use to attract many tourists in the country.
“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?” Kiwanda said on Tuesday.
Since the launch of the beauty curvy women pageant, alot of uproar has been raised from several members of the public mostly from women activists.
Addressing the media on Thursday, UWOPA Chairperson, Pamela Nasiyo said that the actions by Minister Kiwanda are so dehuminising and disrespectful to all women in the country.
“I am here to express our dismay, am here to condemn in the strongest terms the move by Kiwanda to use the daughters of Uganda and mothers of this nation as objects of tourism attraction with due respect,” Nasiyo said.
Nasiyo who appreciated the contribution of the minister to the tourism sector noted that the Minister would have looked at the many gifts of nature that the country has such as the lakes, rivers, mountains, flora and fauna and would move to futher boost them.
“As such, to reduce women to objects of tourism attraction is an understatement, dehumanizing and tantamount to abuse of women’s dignity,” Nasiyo said.
Nasiyo has thus called upon the Minister to apologize formally and called on Civil Society, government agencies and all Ugandans to stand up against this form of abuse.
On Wednesday, former Leader of Opposition in Parliament who is also Woman MP for Kasese, Winnie Kiiza also lashed out at Minister Kiwanda condemning the act of objectifying women in the guise of marketing Uganda’s tourism.
“We have learnt of the move by the State Minister for Tourism on championing the “Miss Curvy Women”, in an effort to boost tourism of our country,” Kiiza posted on Wednesday, adding that; “Together with my colleagues of Uganda Women Parliamentary Association, we condemn acts of objectifying/dehumanizing women”.
She said that the Minister ought to have known that “women are more than just bodies, and so we should be treated with honor and respect”.
Winnie Kiiza went ahead to call for the cancellation of the Miss Curvy beauty pageant with immediate effect.
“And because we are your daughters, wives and mothers; it’s only prudent that the project be cancelled with immediate effect”.
On her part, the Kabarole district Woman MP, Sylvia Rwabwogo commented: “I don’t know whether they [women] will put them in a hall where people will come and see their bodies. I don’t know whether they are going to make them naked for them to be seen”.
“We need to look at the beauty of women differently, beauty with dignity, beauty with a purpose. And I condemn this [Minister’s act] as degrading and devaluing to the dignity of women. And I call on the Minister to apologize to the women,” she added.