Uganda accused of promoting sex tourism with 'curvy women' campaign


In response to the criticism, Kiwanda said the campaign was not aimed at demeaning women.

Minister Kiwanda under his slogan Tulambule-Uganda launched the campaign targeting both local and foreign tourists to visit Uganda and among others view the curvy and bummy women.

The incident marks the second time in only a matter of weeks that male Ugandan leaders have made allegedly disparaging comments about women.

Some Ugandans on social media argued the beauty contest would help to challenge the Western stereotype that only slim women are lovely, saying the pageant celebrated the diversity of all body shapes, including those of African women.

"I take great exception to the fact that my image and likeness are being used to propagate, disseminate and encourage the objectification of women's bodies".

"Guess their strategy? Use curvy women to promote the country. 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", Ms Primrose Murungi's petition reads.

"I am now pursuing legal actions and remedies against Miss Curvy Uganda", she announced.

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She has called for the cancellation of the contest and demanded an apology from Kiwanda.

"I have also seen the pictures of curvy women displaying themselves".

But many were also outraged on social media and wanted the authorities to cancel the Miss Curvy Uganda competition all together. On a scale of 1-10, how stupid is your tourism minister?'

Funmi Oyatogun wrote on Twitter: "Uganda has some of the wildest adrenaline adventures in Africa, the River Nile, game parks, majestic lakes and a huge untapped market for tourism".

Some people accused Mr Kiwanda of talking about women as though they were zoo animals, with one woman even questioning whether they would be put "in a cage for the tourists to see".

'There is art, sport, nature talent that can be promoted and in turn used to represent us rather than parading our women as the new source of tourism'.

It is against this background that the women MPs under their umbrella Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) and activists under the Uganda Women's Network (UWONET) have started punching holes in a campaign that has resuscitated enthusiasm in the tourism sector. It has the largest population of gorillas and more species of birds per square kilometre than anywhere else in the world.