Zimbabwe’s first lady received widespread criticism over the weekend for apparently suggesting that women are to blame for rape because of the clothes they wear. Grace Mugabe, 50, said women who wear miniskirts shouldn’t complain when they are raped because it’s their own fault, according to NewsDay Zimbabwe.
“If you walk around wearing miniskirts displaying your thighs and inviting men to drool over you, then you want to complain when you have been raped? It’s unfortunate because it will be your fault,” Mugabe said Friday during a rally for the ruling Zanu-PF party in Mberengwa. The first lady then called on women to wear long dress and skirts or pants. “You can choose a trousers, but not those which are too tight. These types of clothes are the signs of moral decadence in our country,” she said.
Mugabe’s remarks sparked outrage across the southern African country. Obert Gutu, the spokesman for the MDC-T opposition party, said the first lady’s comments were shameful. “The statement by Grace is very disgraceful and denigrating to any woman and more so coming from a woman and the First Lady,” Gutu said, according to NewsDay Zimbabwe.
Others took to social media to express their anger. One user posted on Twitter: "I wonder where she got the empirical evidence to support this claim!!" Another said Mugabe was “offside” and that “victim blaming perpetuates the problem,” according to South Africa’s News24.
This is not the first time Mugabe has condemned miniskirts. She apparently expressed her disgust for the clothing item last year when then-Vice President Joice Mujuru wore a short skirt. Her comments come in contrast to her husband, President Robert Mugabe, who said in September that his administration is “seriously” considering castration as a punishment for rapists, Brietbart reported.