A chief in Mombasa banned women who wear spaghetti straps, mini skirts and shorts from their offices and insisted that they dress properly before using government services.
Dress code policy has sparked a debate on social media and on the streets of Mombasa, with many saying it goes against state policy of non-discrimination against Kenyans seeking government services.
In an interview, the boss, Yasim Omar, said she had not forbidden anyone to use services, but insisted it was wrong for women to visit government offices in clothes that excessively bare their bodies.
âI was vilified on social media, but the woman was dressed indecently. Her breasts and thighs were excessively exposed. Elders who help me with cases felt uncomfortable, âsaid Ms. Omar.
She said respected people like clergy or parents and their children visit their offices for services and “it was not right for women to come out with their breasts and thighs”.
“I serve a lot of women, but it is also inappropriate for them to come into the office dressed in spaghetti straps that reveal their chests, short mini-skirts and shorts with all their thighs,” she said.
As a mother and community leader, Ms. Omar claimed that it was also her responsibility to teach girls morality, but denied the allegation that she turned away women who were improperly dressed.
Some residents threatened to storm Omar’s office and accused them of discriminating against women on the basis of their clothing. They say it was a ploy to ridicule women.
âThere is a sign on the door of the boss’s office prohibiting some clothing. It is unlawful for a boss to impose a dress code on people using services, âsaid Andrew Mativo.
The message reads: âUkija ofisi ya Chief vaa nguo za heshima. Yaani mavazi ya kukusitiri (dress properly when you visit the boss’s office. Clothes that cover you well). ”