The #MyDressMyChoice protest in Nairobi, 17th November 2014

The #MyDressMyChoice protest in Nairobi, 17th November 2014

The #MyDressMyChoice campaign started after a video showing a woman being stripped and publicly shamed for alleged “indecent” dressing went viral on social media. The video generated different reactions from online media users with majority of them coming out to condemn the act. From the conversations that ensued, the #MyDressMyChoice campaign began to highlight the right of women to dress as they please (individual rights) and to protest against the acts as seen in the viral video.

A lot of debate is still going on as to whether the campaign was or was not a success but the overwhelming feeling was that it was a success. Here’s why we think it was.

1. Coverage

From online media, the #MyDressMyChoice campaign made its way to both local and international mainstream media with coverage from media houses such as KTN and K24.

International media house such as Aljazeera , the BBC and the Guardian were also not left behind with coverage of the online campaign and subsequent protest.

2. Discussions

The #MyDressMyChoice campaign aimed at sparking debate about women rights and gender based violence and it achieved this with discussions far and wide, both online and offline. There were even hashtags set out to derail the conversation such as #NudityIsNotMyChoice which ran parallel to the ongoing conversations.

3. Social Media statistics

They say numbers don’t lie and the social media statistics for the campaign showed a far reaching effect not only locally but across the globe. According to statistics by Spyce Magazine, though 75% of the tweets were generated from Kenya, the conversation spread to other countries with countries such as the USA offering 6% of the tweets, South Africa generating 2% and Kenya’s neighbors Uganda and Tanzania having 1% each.

images via Spyce Magazine

images via Spyce Magazine

image via Spyce Magazine

image via Spyce Magazine

4. Protest

A protest march set up by an online community happened on Monday the 17th of November to protest the stripping and public shaming and had numbers of over 500+ participants from all genders. There was even a section of the male participants who donned traditional male dress attire in support of the campaign.

5. Petition to the CJ

The protest ended with the submission of a memo to the Chief Justice and there were even local personalities who offered rewards to whoever would identify the perpetrators of the act.

Last but not leat, the issue made its way for debate in Kenya’s parliament and the hope is that proper legal measures shall be taken to offer justice to the victims and steps taken to ensure it never happens again.