A female Member of Parliament in Tanzania has been kicked out of the country’s parliament for wearing trousers deemed ‘too tight’.
Condester Sichwale, a minister for the ruling CCM party, was ejected on Tuesday after male colleague Hussein Amar – a member of the same party – complained.
Sichwale was told by the Speaker to ‘go dress up well, and then join us back later’ before she walked out. It is unclear whether she returned to the chamber that day.
The reprimand has sparked and angry backlash with a group of female MPs branding it ‘unfair’ and demanding an apology.
The incident took place following a debate in Parliament House in Tanzania’s capital of Dodoma, which Sichwale and Amar had been taking part in.
Full picture showing trousers she was ejected over
Immediately after the session finished, Amar stood up to ask Speaker Job Ndugai for guidance on ‘modest’ dress.
‘The code is clear about the dress and for the sisters but in here there are MPs wearing clothes that are not modest,’ he said, according to news portal Mwananchi.
Asked who he was referring to, Amar pointed to Sichwale and said: ‘The MP is right there on my right hand.
‘She is wearing a t-shirt but please call her in front to see the pants she is wearing in a tight way.’
He added: ‘Parliament is a mirror of society and Tanzania, and some of our sisters are wearing strange clothes and are legislators. What are they showing to the society?’
Amar also accused Sichwale of wearing ‘sunglasses’, though it appears from photos that she was wearing transition lenses that change depending on light conditions.
After seeing Sichwale’s outfit, Ndugai told her: ‘Go dress up well, and then join us back later.’
He added that it is not the first complaint he had received about female MP’s dress, and then told parliamentary security to conduct extra checks on clothing.
A group of MPs led by Jacqueline Ngonyani and Stella Manyanya has branded the move ‘unfair’, the BBC reports, adding that there was nothing wrong with the outfit.
The move has also attracted criticism online, with users accusing Amar and Ndugai of ‘policing women’s bodies’.
‘Hypocrites, focus on the important things like governance,’ one said.