Tourism is a booming business and every country is looking for ways to draw as many tourists as possible.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Ugandan Tourism Minister, Godfrey Kiwanda, unveiled the campaign to market curvy women as part of the country's attraction. Many curvaceous women were in attendance at the conference.

While fatphobia is a social issue that is taking centre stage in the world, Uganda hopes to celebrate its women by launching the campaign and organising a beauty pageant named 'Miss Curvy Uganda' to hold in June.

According to Kiwanda, this is an effort to increase tourism in Uganda which contributed approximately USD 1.4 billion to the economy last year.

On the website, the mission statement states: “Uganda is dubbed as being gifted by nature. This is not only exhibited by the abundance of natural resources, but it also extends to the people of Uganda."

Baboons are part of Ugandan tourist attractions [Youtube]
Baboons are part of Ugandan tourist attractions [Youtube]

Kiwanda also had this to say to a local Newspaper:

“We have naturally endowed nice-looking women that are amazing to look at. Why don’t we use these people as a strategy to promote our tourism industry?” 

However, both the Minister and his initiatives have come under fire for being demeaning and promoting the objectification of women.

Rita Aciro, executive director of Uganda Women's Network told AFP: "This is perversion. To think women can be used as sex objects in this age and time is an absurdity and we condemn it."

Ugandan entrepreneur and activist Primrose Nyonyozi Murungi has launched an online petition to stop the campaign, calling it "totally unacceptable and demeaning".

She has also called for the Minister's resignation and a public apology.

Kiwanda, in response to the anger, still insists that the campaign is not demeaning in any way but will showcase the different curves the country has.