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Indecent Dressing Among Young African Women :Effects and Solutions

Indecent Dressing Among Young African Women :Effects and Solutions 


Indecent dressing also known as immodest dressing was once uncommon in Africa, but today, it is progressively becoming part of us and at the same time, leading to the increase in the rate of immorality in our society. This act, also known as dress to kill is very common among colleges of education, polytechnics and university students, especially the females. They dress in such manner, all with an aim of looking tantalizing, sexy and attractive instead of dressing in a responsible way. Strapless clothes, bum shorts, short blouse, miniskirts/gown, cleavage shirts, sagging of trousers by boys and even girls are the major problems associated with dress decency today. As if this ugly act is not enough, some students also wear transparent clothes, thereby revealing their body anatomy which ought not to be seen in public. These dressing patterns are so many with more still coming up due to the progressiveness of fashion.

However, sometimes I wonder why they wear these clothes and I found out that it could be as a result of what they see in the media, poor parenting/moral upbringing, peer pressure and also, a feeling of wanting to be among a particular group of people. They don’t remember that for every action, there is a reaction. This provocative act can lead to rape. As a result of what they wear, they might be lured into prostitution by their peers. They may also be influenced to join one cult group or the other. Also, a lady who dresses indecently may be seen as a harlot even though she might not be a harlot. This has indeed given her a bad image. I believe strongly that indecent dressing can devalue a woman because it exposes what forms her treasure. To the males, it gives them this image of irresponsibility. To an extent, dressing indecently to a church may portray the pastor as weak and spiritually not sound. What amazes me is that some of these dresses bring about discomfort. For instance, a lady who wears a mini skirt won’t have much freedom in sitting comfortable or when entering a vehicle or a motorcycle.

In order to stop this inappropriate act, in 2008, the then Chairman of the Senate Committee on Women and Youth, Senator Eme Ufot Ekaete, presented a bill on immodest dressing titled, ” An Act to Prohibit and Punish Public Nudity, Sexual Intimidation and Related Offenses”. A proposed jail term of six months was imposed for offenders in the bill but it was condemned by humanitarian organizations. Anita Kyaagba, an undergraduate student, who reacted to the bill stated: “We are living in a free world and so, we are free to wear anything we want. Besides, since you don’t buy the clothes for me, who are you to tell me what to wear? I wear what makes me comfortable. As a young girl, I follow fashion trend, I wear the best in vogue and if it accentuates some parts of my body and my boyfriend likes it, I don’t see anything wrong in it”. Adefunke Olutoye, another student that spoke to Leadership Sunday stated that she stopped attending the church where she grew up because one Sunday, the usher stopped her from entering the church because of what she wore. According to her, “I wore a mini gown, which highlighted my hips and boobs and the old-fashioned usher refused to allow me enter the church. Since then, I decided to join another church that won’t judge me based on my dressing, but my heart. Besides, the Lord sees the heart, not the body, so why should anybody judge me”? You can see from this that while some people are trying to make such an ugly act go into extinct, others still want to dwell in it.

Nevertheless, this can be massively reduced if we do what is right at the right time. Therefore, in order to eliminate indecent dressing, strict enforcement of dress codes should be introduced in colleges of education, polytechnics and universities across the country. This can be achieved by the collective efforts of the security department, staffs and the management of the tertiary institutions. Also, to complement such efforts, parents must teach their children how to dress decently and parents should dress decently, as this will serve as an example to their children. According to the Holy Bible, in First Timothy chapter 2 verses 9 to 10 (New King James Version) says “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works”. From this Bible passage, it can be understood that God wants us to dress modestly. The mass media, as an agent of socialization must promote good moral values. Therefore, the display of indecently dressed people on television through music videos, advertisements and films should be discouraged. Religious leaders should also preach against such act. Lastly, young girls should be educated on the consequences of dressing indecently.

In conclusion, your image at times saves you in terms of protection from bad people and false allegations but when it is the other way, no matter what you do to prove that you have changed, people will never believe you because at the earlier stage, you gave them a bad impression of who you are. Therefore, women and young girls should put in more efforts to abstain from indecent dressing so as to look responsible and simultaneously avoid the consequences. Our destiny is in our hands.

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