Kenya: MPs 'wade into police lipstick row'

A Kenyan police officer patrols a beach in Mombasa
Image caption No dress code difficulties for this officer

Kenyan MPs have criticised police for banning women officers from wearing lipstick, big earrings or dreadlocks, it's reported.

Earlier this month, it emerged that a circular issued to officers complained that some in their ranks had been sporting styles "deemed unprofessional" and likely to "tarnish the good name of the police service". It represented "a misconduct whose consequences call for stern disciplinary action", the deputy inspector general reportedly wrote. But MPs on the National Security committee this week labelled the directive "archaic, extreme and petty". One, Grace Kiptui, argues: "I do not see why female officers should be barred from wearing earrings," reports the Daily Nation, quoting her colleague Ibrahim Abdi Saney saying women officers should "be left to appear beautiful and free".

In January, the Law Society of Kenya updated its dress code to ban solicitors from wearing "flamboyant" hair styles or revealing clothes, such as miniskirts and sleeveless shirts or dresses, the Standard reported. "All manner of flamboyance and garishness must be avoided at all costs," it quoted the chairman as saying. UK police forces generally insist on neat hair and "unobtrusive" make-up.

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