The Quest for Morality; “Decency”

The question of “decency” has become a hot topic in the East African social networks. After a 24 year old Rwandese lady was arrested and charged with “indecent” dressing, after a photo of her in a fish net attire at a music concert appeared on social media.

Last Thursday the 18th of August, a judge in Kigali declined to grant her bail. With the prosecution requesting that she should be detained for 30 days as the investigation continues. If found guilty the lady may be sentenced in accordance to Article 143 of Rwanda’s penalty code. Which stipulates that “Any person who performs an indecent act in public, commits an offense. Upon conviction, he/she is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than six months and not more than two years.”

Let us look back at our own history, “A Kenyan woman was waiting for a bus at a stop in Nairobi. Where a group of men surrounded her, and started to strip and assault her for wearing a miniskirt in public. She screamed and cried out for help, but only a couple of brave people reached out and gave her clothes to cover herself,” the media reported then.

This incident birthed one of the biggest social movements “My dress my choice” movement in the last quarter of 2014. Which saw countless gender activists, women, brothers, sisters, husbands and sons to rally up in the streets to protest against the undressing and public harassment of the lady, which was caught on camera and shared online for all to see.

The perpetrators actions were claimed to be “motivated” by the “indecency” of the lady dressing’s. Kenyans took to social media and the streets to address harassment of all women in the country. Although justice was delayed it was not denied. As three years later, a court sentenced the three main perpetrators to life in prison for stripping, robbing, and violently sexually assaulting the female commuter, in 2017.

Where do we draw the line between “Harassment” and the quest for “decency?” Romans 13:13 says, “Let us walk with decency, as in the daylight: not in carousing and drunkenness; not in sexual impurity and promiscuity; not in quarrelling and jealousy.”

If you understand your foundation and know what is just? Then there question decency or harassment should not be a matter of concern. It should be crystal clear.



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