Mmegi Online :: Women Affairs boss defends dress code directive
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Last Updated
Monday 23 July 2018, 13:53 pm.
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Women Affairs boss defends dress code directive

The director of women affairs department in the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs, Matty Legwaila has stated that there is nothing wrong with the directive released on Friday that requires civil servants to dress in a manner that ensures that certain parts of their bodies are not exposed.
By Staff Writer Mon 23 Jul 2018, 15:48 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Women Affairs boss defends dress code directive








She told Mmegi yesterday that the directive dated March 19, is not  addressed to women but targets all civil servants. "It is straight forward and has nothing that is new. It is not biased against women," she said.

Legwaila explained that the dress code has been in the general orders and they now want to enforce it. "I don't see a problem with it. We just have to make sure that it is widely available to all the government employees for them to dress appropriately," she said.

The directive was signed by the Director of Public Service Management (DPSM) Pearl Matome. It reminded all civil servants that it is mandatory for public employees to dress in a manner that reflects credit on the Public Service, in line with General Order 34.1.

Matome said that in order to ensure consistency, civil servants will not be allowed to dress in whatever they like. They are barred from putting clothes that reveal cleavage, bareback, chest, armpits, stomach and underwear. Civil servants are not allowed to wear torn, dirty, wrinkled or frayed clothing. Casual and gym wear including jeans and shorts will not be allowed. Short and/or tight skirts, pants, dresses, body hugging clothing, tops, shirts and t-shirts with offensive words, logos, pictures, cartoons or slogans will not be worn by civil servants on duty.

Matome stated that casual and sports shoes, hats and caps will also not be allowed at work,

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while religious and traditional head covers and headgears may be allowed at the discretion of the Permanent Secretary. Civil servants have been warned to avoid colorful hairstyles while on duty.

The dressing codes in the country has moved with the changing trends and many civil servants wardrobes are packed with the latest fashion. A source from the government enclave stated that the directive was delivered on Friday but their superiors have not briefed them about it as of yesterday.  "Most of our superiors are women who come to work dressed in these pants that are being banned and sleeveless tops when it is hot.

The directive affects all of us. We will just wait and see what will be done to those who will be reprimanded first," said one government employee.

She added that the directive is nothing new and it has been realised that women expose too much flesh when they are on duty. "Nobody is happy about this directive of course but we will just wait and see," she said.

She stated that most female servants do not have formal clothes. "I don't have clothes that we are required to put on and I do not have the money to buy new ones," she said.

The MP for Mahalapye East, Botlogile Tshireletso stated that the directive will take women back to the days when they fought to be allowed to wear pants in government offices.

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