A temporary ban has been placed by Guinea Government on beauty pageants following a public outrage sparked on social media over the skimpy outfits worn by contestants.
The country’s prime minister, Mamady Youla, came under heavy criticism on social media after attending a beauty pageant during the weekend, where contestants in swimsuits (bikinis) paraded in front of him.
Many nationals of the extremely conservative Guinea with a majority Muslim population, took to social media to slam their government and express their distaste, accusing Prime Minister Youla of encouraging prostitution by being present at the event, BBC Afrique reports.
Consequently, the government instituted a temporary ban on beauty pageants, adding that the ban will remain in place until a committee is set up to establish a new code of ethics.
Siaka Barry, Guinea’s culture minister, who was also present at the beauty pageant that led to the government-ordered ban, said the government had terminated its contract with the organizers of the pageant.
Meanwhile, last month in Rwanda, beauty pageants were put to an end in schools with the argument that the practice could have an effect on the quality of education.
Rwanda’s Minister for Education, Dr Papias Musafiri, announced that the directive affects schools right from nursery to secondary level with immediate effect.
Explaining the reason behind government’s decision, Lydia Mitali, the officer in charge of Girl Education at the Ministry of Education, argued that the ban on beauty pageants in high schools is justified, especially as schools who organized such contests did not consult the Ministry.
She pointed out that there is nothing productive in subjecting students to beauty contests because it only distracts them from the primary reason why they are in school. In her words;
“We basically have no document filed on this programme, so banning pageants was the wise thing to do. As the Ministry of Education, we were not consulted yet the schools are our responsibility. Also, the pageants don’t even give any productive results.
“If you look at the campaigns we carry in relation to girls’ education or their wellbeing, the Miss High School pageant is nowhere to be seen in terms of contribution.”
Also sharing her concerns as the person in charge of girls’ education, Mitali said that such would only lead girls towards taking the wrong paths all in search of facilities when it comes to sponsoring themselves in other pageants.
Mitali believes that the decision made was the right one since it’s not only saving the quality of education but, the welfare of the girls too.
On the other hand, university students in the country argue that the ban was not so much of a necessary step seeing that the event was just an annual event which barely disrupted students’ academics.
In Rwandan society, beauty pageants are a trend that had picked pace. Apart from the annual Miss Rwanda beauty pageant, the biggest event on the social calendar, almost every weekend there is a beauty pageant organized. Over the years, other smaller beauty contests steadily picked momentum in schools, mostly secondary schools.
Organizers of these pageants say these events are a platform to empower girls and are organized amongst different schools with an overall winner crowned the beauty queen of a high school.