Attorney and former politician Deborah Moore-Miggins has said rules governing dress code at government offices should be abandoned.
She was speaking last Thursday at a panel discussion on Emancipation: None But Ourselves can Free Our Minds, hosted by the Tobago Writers' Guild and Tobago Library Services at Scarborough Library. The event was part of the guild's monthly lecture series
"I want to bring into focus that archaic rule that prevents people from going into government buildings with armhole, with armless, with short pants. I mean, that is something right in your face that, if you leave here tomorrow, if people wanted to change that, we can and there should be an immediate demand about that," she told the audience.
Moore-Miggins, who moderated the discussion, said she visited Florida, United States, several months ago, and noticed that not much attention is paid to the dress code at government offices.
"I was waiting for someone who went to do some business at licensing (department) and there were people moving in and out, busy. And all shades of people, dressed any way they want to: slippers, sleeveless, anything. And they go in, do their business."
Moore-Miggins said the staff in the office was very professional.
"They don't even look at what you have on.
"But here, we have people telling you that you can't go past the desk with the security unless you go back home and put on all of these kinds of things."
Moore-Miggins said a friend also told her of a situation in which she had to reprimand a security guard for allowing a woman dressed in a mini-skirt to do business, when there were rules against such a dress code at the institution.
The security guard, Moore-Miggins said, had earlier told her friend that she could not conduct her business in short pants.
"My friend, she wears big, baggy short pants and she saw one of the young girls with a very short skirt walk in. She turned to the security and said, 'When you could tell her (girl in mini skirt) not to go in, I wouldn't go in.' And she just walked past. That is something we can attack as soon as possible."