Thursday, July 28, 2011


What should visitors pack when going to Nigeria? In addition to a passport, anti-malarial medication and a flashlight, apparently females should take skirts—and the longer the better. This headline appeared yesterday in an online Nigerian newspaper (Vanguard): “Why We Barred Females From Wearing Trousers in Offices—Plateau Government.” The reason? It’s part of a campaign against “indecent dressing.”

This reminds me of one of my visits to the Faith Alive Hospital during 2009's hot and humid rainy season. Sitting on a bench in my khaki pants at a morning devotion, one of the more conservative staff members said that women should not wear trousers. I think he directed his admonishment to the stylish young women staffers at the back sporting slacks and jeans, because he looked at me and said something like, “Our visitors sometimes wear trousers; they are cold here and need to keep warm.”

Regardless of the temperature, I think there won't be any more sisterhood of the traveling pants for me.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. That cultural stuff is so hard for me. On one side, I want to be respectful. But on the other--I want to be who I am, and who I am believes there is nothing unacceptable about women wearing pants.