MBABANE (Swaziland): Police in Africa's last absolute monarchy Swaziland have banned women from wearing miniskirts and midriff-revealing tops saying they provoke rape, local media reported on Monday.

Offenders face a six-month jail term under the ban, which invokes a colonial criminal act dating back to 1889.

“The act of the rapist is made easy, because it would be easy to remove the half-cloth worn by the women,” police spokeswoman Wendy Hleta was quoted as saying in the Independent Online news.

The ban also applies to low-rise jeans. “They will be arrested,” she said.

Hleta said women wearing revealing clothing were responsible for assaults or rapes committed against them.

However, the ban does not apply to traditional costumes worn by young women during ceremonies like the annual Reed Dance, where the ruling King Mswati III chooses a wife.

The flamboyant king already has 13 wives.—AFP

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