Uproar After University Banner Advising Women on Dress Code Goes Viral

A banner by the Co-operative University of Kenya, urging students to wear decently.
A banner by the Co-operative University of Kenya, urging students to wear decently.

UPDATE 4;23PM: The Co-operative University of Kenya on Friday, November 26, apologised after a banner mounted on the school, went viral, causing an uproar on social media pages.

In a statement, the University explained that the banner had been mounted by the Student Organisation without the approval of the management.

"Our attention has been drawn to pictures of a banner circulating on various social media platforms on Thursday, November 25, 2021 bearing a message about a campaign being organised by the Student Governing Council (SGC) on student Dress Code.

"The erroneous messaging portrayed by the banner is misleading and highly regrettable. We sincerely apologise for the miscommunication," reads the statement in part.

A banner by the Cooperative University of Kenya calling on women to dress 'decently' has been a subject of online conversations.

Entrance of the Co-operative University of Kenya
Entrance of the Co-operative University of Kenya
Co-operative University of Kenya

The banner, which was erected at the university's premises, insinuated that indecent dressing was a recipe for rape and sexual harassment.

It further went ahead to encourage lady students to dress decently to avoid becoming the victims of the two vices.

"Dress how you want to be addressed. A woman should always dress to be remembered, not simply to be noticed. Indecent  dressing leads to sexual harassment and rape," reads the message on the banner.

It is the co-relation between the decent dressing and the vices that rattled Kenyans online.

"Kindly tell your management this banner points to their wicked mentality on rape. Every day, we handle cases of boys, men and children who are sexually abused. Did rapists target them for their dressing? Such a disgusting advertisement," Wanjeri Nderu, a human rights activist stated.

Others argued that those who claimed the choice of dress and rape were directly interlinked were only empowering the offenders.

"The cause of rape is rapists 100 per cent of the time. Stop being a rape apologist. If rape was preventable by how women are dressed, rapists wouldn't rape babies and 70 year old women," Dr. Catherine Kyobutungi, the Executive Director APHRC weighed in.

In 2014, the topic 'My Dress, My Choice,' sparked an outage after a woman was stripped naked in Nairobi.

A group of young men were accused of catcalling her before proceeding to undress her without listening or hearing her side of the story.

In the campaign, women across the country argued that a woman was worthy of respect, regardless of what she was wearing or if she fits into society’s model.

My dress my choice protests in 2014
My dress my choice protests in 2014
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