The minister of tourism in Uganda compares curvy women to tourist attractions causing outrage online

A Ugandan government campaign wants to market its curvy women as a tourist attraction
A Ugandan government campaign wants to market its curvy women as a tourist attraction

Ugandan minister of tourism Godfrey Kiwanda announced that curvy women will be joining language and food as a tourist attraction, reports Al Jazeera.

He made the declaration as part of Uganda’s tulambule (let's explore) tourism initiative in Kampala on Wednesday; where he also launched a beauty pageant ‘Miss Curvy’ which is where voluptuous women will be selected in June. 

The ministry is hoping full-figured women can be used to promote tourism in the country. This comes after Uganda was ranked 12th in New York Times best sellers '1000 places to see before you die.

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“We have naturally endowed nice looking women that are amazing to look at. Why don’t we use these people as a strategy to promote our tourism industry?” the minister was quoted in the newspaper.

Speaking to Daily Nation, the pageant organiser Ann Mungoma says this event will be an opportunity for women to showcase their curves and intellect.

She adds that the initiative addresses the astounding lack of diversity in mainstream pageants, where only slim women are appreciated.

“Miss Curvy will bring out the endowment of the real African women,” she commented.

There are Twitter users who share her sentiments, highlighting that for the longest time, only slim women have been reigning as beauty queens.

However, the initiative has also been met with backlash and a petition has been launched to have the pageant cancelled.

Non-governmental organisation, Uganda Women's Network has gone on Capital FM Uganda to call for the ministers' resignation, saying he is trying to use women to sell the country.

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Ugandan activist Primrose Nyonyozi Murungi took to Facebook to express her disappointment. " This video makes me cringe," she said.

"They bought mineral water and soda for the meeting, they even had lunch while talking about this brilliant idea. And guess what, no one said this is objectification of women," she added.

The 'Miss Curvy' Facebook page has since released a statement clarifying the minister's comments.

Whether this was an attempt to objectify or empower full-figured women, the female body is yet again, objectified and women stigmatised.

How about we fight for women to be valued as more than just bodies for the male gaze.

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