Women's league says reed dancers must cover up

The young women participating in the annual reed dance in KwaZulu-Natal must not expose themselves in public, the African National Congress Women’s League said on Sunday.

Spokesperson Dudu Mazibuko said the league supported King Goodwill Zwelithini’s appeal for more women to participate in the cultural celebration.

“Some women don’t participate in the dance because of these maidens who expose their private parts and this destroys the image of the celebration”, said Mazibuko.

Earlier this month Swazi King Mswati III said he did not want to see women exposing themselves at the reed dance. He said they should buy an article of clothing called an ‘umutsha’ to cover their buttocks and waists.

The reed dance is held annually in September at the Enyokeni Royal Palace in Nongoma.

Polygamy fuels Aids
Meanwhile, the United Nations said on Friday that traditional sexual practices including polygamy and promiscuity are driving rampant HIV-Aids in Swaziland, where nearly 40% of adults are infected.

The research found that polygamy, widow inheritance, multiple female partners, and extramarital relationships—in the past viewed as important for keeping society together—increased vulnerability to HIV/Aids.

“If one sexual partner in such sexual networks is HIV-positive and sex is unprotected, the practice becomes an important driver of the pandemic,” said the UN Development Programme’s Swaziland Human Development Report for 2008. - Sapa


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