The government through the Tourism ministry, has launched a new beauty pageant contest that will see ‘sexy and curvaceous women’ picked as a tourist attraction to boost the tourism industry in the country. The maiden ‘Miss Curvy’ pageant is scheduled to be held in June this year.
The winner/s will be added on the list of other tourist attractions such as chimpanzees, baboons, lakes, rivers, and mountains, among others. This move dehumanises women as it means putting them at the same level with animals and physical features.
While launching the ‘Miss Curvy’ beauty pageant in Kampala on Tuesday, the State minister for Tourism, Mr Godfrey Kiwanda, said the core objective of the beauty pageant was to pick sexy and curvaceous women who will be used as a tourist attraction.
The minister justified the new beauty pageant on grounds that Uganda is naturally endowed with nice looking women who are amazing to look at.
He went on to wonder why we can’t grab this God-given opportunity and use them as a strategy to promote our tourism industry as he pointed at some of the curvaceous beautiful women who were in his company as he announced this new pageant.
The implication of this newly launched beauty pageant is that it will degrade women by reducing them to mere objects for tourists attraction. The NRM government has been applauded for championing the rights of women by establishing various women emancipation programmes.
However, with the ‘Miss Curvy’ beauty contest, it has scored very low as this will water down any achievements in relation to women emancipation.
Court statistics show that more than 60 per cent of capital offences prosecuted are mainly sexual in nature. This means that women are raped, young girls are often defiled and with the launch of this new beauty pageant of turning women into objects of tourist attractions, more women/girls risk to be sexually abused since the minister has branded them as ‘sexy objects’.
Women’s bodies should be respected and dignified. However, by turning them into a tourist attraction, it’s another way of turning them into a ‘sexual objectification’, which is an act of treating a person as a commodity or an object without regard to their personality or dignity.
The government may be looking for avenues of expanding the revenue base. However, going the curvy pageant way reminds the country of the long forgotten slave trade. The government should drop this idea.
Government should look elsewhere to widen the tax base.
It is degrading to urge women, who are our mothers, sisters, and daughters of the nation and God’s perfect creation, to parade their bodies for the pleasure of others.