KAMPALA – Public servants in Uganda are facing a strict dress code after the government issued a circular warning them to “dress decently”.
Female staff have been told not to show any cleavage, wear brightly coloured nails, braids or hair extensions, sleeveless or transparent blouses.
Men must wear long-sleeved shirts, jackets and ties, while trousers should not be tight-fitting.
Staff failing to comply will be disciplined.
The guidelines, issued by the Ministry of Public Service apply to all non-uniformed civil servants. But there is a feeling that female staff are the main focus on the new rules.
While women will be allowed to wear pant-suits, they have been warned not to wear any tight-fitting clothing. Dresses and skirts must at least be knee-length.
Uganda is a conservative society and women have previously complained of being harassed if they wear mini-skirts in public.
– To dress in a skirt or dress that is not above the knees, with a smart long or short sleeved blouse. Officers should avoid wearing sleeveless, transparent blouses and dresses at the work place.
– To ensure that the clothing covers up cleavage, navel, knees and back.
– Not allowed to have bright coloured hair in form of natural hair, braids and hair extensions.
– Maintain well-groomed, neutral polished nails. Long nails with more than 3cms (1.5in), with bright nail polish or with multi-coloured nail polish are not allowed in public offices.
– Shall keep the facial make-up simple and not exaggerated.
– Male officers are required to dress in neat trousers, long-sleeved shirts, jacket and a tie.
– Officers will not be allowed to put on open shoes during working hours, except on health grounds/recommendation.
– Hair should be well-groomed and generally kept short.
– Tight fitting trousers will not be permitted.