May 28, 2016
Asuggestion that men should be allowed to “lightly beat” their wives from an Islamic religious body was met with outrage in Pakistan on May 27.
The suggestion was included in a draft bill released by the Council of Islamic Ideology on May 26, which was posed as an alternative to a law giving women greater rights and protection that was enacted in the province of Punjab in February.
The Islamic bill 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.”
Leading the outraged response to the proposal, the country’s biggest and most influential newspaper, the English-language daily Dawn, published a satirical article with a list of things people could beat other than their wives — including eggs, the bottom of ketchup bottles, and the Michael Jackson hit Beat It.
The article was a rare example of media satire on matters laid down by Pakistan’s conservative Islamic authorities.
The draft bill was also slammed by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, which condemned it as “ridiculous” and called for the council of “zealots” to be disbanded.
“It is difficult to comprehend why anyone in his right mind would think that any further encouragement or justification is needed to invite violence upon women in Pakistan,” the group said.