Trucks in Uganda (icon image)
Photo: Sally Hayden / ZUMA Wire / IMAGO
A trade association in the town of Lira in northern Uganda is curtailing women's rights, ostensibly to make road traffic safer.
As reported by the AFP news agency, among others, a rule was issued in Lira according to which women are no longer allowed to sit in the driver's cab of trucks.
Short skirts and bare skin are a distraction for the drivers and would cause accidents, the reasoning was said.
Women's rights activist Alice Mugwanya Kabijje criticized the regulation as unnecessary and "male chauvinism in action".
The Association of Local Lira Traders and Vendors stressed that the ban on female passengers in the cab was issued in the name of safety.
According to a report, the background to the rule is that many traders would rather sit in the cabin than on the loading area in the dust on the way to the market.
"Not even their wives" are now allowed to take the drivers on the front seat, according to AFP.
"Some wear short dresses that expose their thighs and distract drivers," association chairman Opio Obote told the news agency.
»The drivers then cause accidents and people die«.
The ban came into force with immediate effect and so far the drivers have adhered to the regulation.
According to Obote, the decision was made after the causes of the accident in the region had been investigated.
In addition to excessive speed and a lack of discipline on the part of the drivers, "women in short dresses who take the drivers to pubs and drink alcohol with them" were also the cause of the traffic accidents.
Women's rights activist sees violation of constitution
A truck crashed near Lira last week.
Nine dealers were killed in the accident and another 20 were injured.
The police attributed the accident to excessive speed and reckless driving.
Women's rights activist Mugwanya criticized the regulation as "a renewed attack on women by the authorities in Lira".
The ban "completely" contradicts the constitution of Uganda, because the exclusion from exercising a profession on the basis of gender is prohibited.
The regulation is proof of “how women are still treated worse in our society and many men would prefer to see them only in the kitchen”.