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University apologises over disturbing banner linking rape to ‘indecent dressing

The Co-operative University of Kenya on Friday apologised after it came under fire over a disturbing banner that appeared to link rape to ‘indecent dressing’.

The banner which was placed at the university’s main gate entailed how students should dress, complete with pictures.

It outlined ‘acceptable’ dress code, with examples of women wearing such outfits.

“Dress how you want to be addressed. A woman should always dress to be remembered not simply to be noticed,” part of the message in the banner read.

But the part of the message that stirred up an online storm read: “Indecent dressing leads to sexual harassment and rape.”

In their public apology, the university said that the messaging portrayed by the banner “was misleading and highly regrettable.”

“The university wishes to confirm that it does not in any way tolerate Gender Based Violence (GBV) or harassment of any form. We wish to reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that all forms of Gender Based Violence and harassment are eradicated,” the university said.

The university further explained that the banner was put up without the management’s approval and that it was immediately pulled down once it came to their attention.

But this was long after the online community had expressed it dismay with the messaging on the banner. Here are some of the initial online reactions: