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  • The African country earns an annual income of US$1.4 billion form its tourism sector.

    The African country earns an annual income of US$1.4 billion form its tourism sector. | Photo: Reuters

Published 6 February 2019

“We have naturally endowed nice looking women...Why don’t we use them," Tourist Minister Godfrey Kiwanda said.

Uganda’s newest tourist attraction seems to be “curvy women,” according to the nation's tourism minister Godfrey Kiwanda, unleashing a social media storm against the inappropriate comments and a petition demanding he retracts the remarks and apologizes. 

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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,” Kiwanda said Wednesday at the unveiling of a new beauty pageant, “Miss Curvy Uganda.”

The African country earns an annual income of US$1.4 billion form its tourism sector, attracting visitors to its diverse wildlife reserves and incredible crater lakes, mountains, and impressive view of the Nile River.

Pageant director Ann Mungoma defended the campaign, saying the variety of different shapes and curves associated with Uganda’s diverse cultures can be better displayed by contestants in the fashion show.

The backlash from social media was immediate and brutal, slamming the blatant objectification of Ugandan women and destroying the tourism scheme. Some Twitter users accused Kiwanda of talking about women like zoo animals, demanding if he would prefer they be put “n a cage for the tourists to see."

A petition has been launched on Change.org, demanding the minister apologize after the very “personal attack,” campaigner Primrose Murungi said. "This is degrading of women. They are objectifying us and reducing women to nothing," Murungi said, although the minister has yet to make a retraction.

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