The worldwide battle for the rights of women may be heating up daily, with progress being recorded, possibly slower than some would like, but surely.
As with all such necessary battles, hindrances abound stemming from long held traditions, individual orientations and even religious beliefs.
The latter, such hindrance (religious beliefs), has been highlighted in a draft proposed by Pakistan’s Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), which has recommended that husbands should be able to beat their wives lightly.
Council of Islamic Ideology chairman Muhammad Kahn Sherani told the Express-Tribune newspaper;
“If you want her to mend her ways, you should first advise her … If she refuses, stop talking to her … stop sharing a bed with her, and if things do not change, get a bit strict.”
He then defined the part about getting a bit strict to entail;
“(hitting) her with light things like handkerchief, a hat or a turban, but do not hit her on the face or private parts.”
Although, the Council of Islamic Ideology has a job to merely advise Pakistan’s government and lawmakers on Islamic issues, with its proposals or recommendations not being legally binding, the draft suggesting that men can beat their wives lightly, has led to outrage in Pakistan.
There have even been calls for the council to be disbanded with the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) saying in a statement;
“As much as the HRCP wanted not to dignify with any comment the ridiculous CII recommendations regarding ‘light beating’ of women, the commission thinks it is imperative that every right-respecting person must condemn such counsel unreservedly. The irony of calling the measures women protection should not be lost on anyone.”
It Is Part Of Protecting Women If Husbands Beat Their Wives Lightly
The council had drafted their controversial proposal in response to what they had deigned an “un-Islamic” Women’s Protection Act, which was enacted in the province of Punjab in February.
The Act was intended to improve legal protection to women from domestic, psychological and sexual violence.
They therefore criticized the Act and gave their alternative draft proposal which while allowing for some women’s rights be enshrined in law, also says:
“A husband should be allowed to lightly beat his wife if she defies his commands and refuses to dress up as per his desires; turns down demand for intercourse without any religious excuse; or does not take bath after intercourse or menstrual periods.”
Other provocations that were suggested as an allowance for husbands to beat their wives lightly are; interacting with strangers not wearing a hijab and speaking too loudly.