Controlling women’s dressing code is subjugation of rights
The ongoing crackdown on indecent dressing by the police in Juba is unlawful because there is no clause in the Police Act or the transitional constitution of South Sudan that talks about what type of attire women and girls should wear.
There is information about some girls in Juba whose trousers have been torn by the police on the street. This is unlawful and a complete interference with the individual’s rights.
One thing we should know is that the constitution is the supreme law that overrides all laws in the country, be they cultural or religious.
In that regard, the police, as a national institution, are not guided by cultural norms or religious beliefs.
We all know that among most South Sudanese communities, cultural norms and beliefs are still being strictly observed, especially when it comes to marriage and women’s dress.
However, as a nation that coexists with global society, we must not act on the reverse because not only those living in the country are South Sudanese.
So, to fit in with global society, we ought not to impose our cultures on those we want to live among us.
Secondly, South Sudan is already a member of the East African Community that advocates for regional integration, not only from government to government but also from citizens to citizens.
To succeed in this, we need to respect individual rights and above all the constitution of our country.
Of course, in today’s society, different modes of dressing around the world reflect the various available cultures. A particular mode of dressing can be used to identify a certain society as a people. But regrettably, in present-day society, dressings reflect people’s cultural background.
But forceful implementation of non-existence laws, like tearing clothes from women on the street can amount to a gross violation of human rights.