Malawi women protest stripping attacks on streets over wearing trousers

By msnbc staff and news services

Women in Malawi plan to protest in the streets Friday over recent beatings by street-vendor mobs who beat and stripped naked several women for wearing trousers or miniskirts instead of the south Africa country’s traditional dress.

Malawi had laws until 1994 under the autocratic rule of Hastings Banda that banned women from wearing short skirts and men having long hair or flared trousers, the BBC reported. It dropped the restrictions when multi-party democracy was introduced.

However, this week street vendors attacked several women in Lilongwe and commercial capital Blantyre over their dress, saying they were enforcing a government decree.

Seodi White, a lawyer and leading women’s rights activist, told the BBC that protesters would gather Friday ”in solidarity with the victims and to express our indignation at such barbaric treatment of mothers, wives and daughters of our country”.

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