Islamic Council Proposes Men May Lightly Beat Wives

| by Kathryn Schroeder
Woman wearing hijabWoman wearing hijab

The Council of Islamic Ideology in Pakistan reportedly recommended women receive a light beating from their husband if they are disobedient.

The women protection bill was drafted after Punjab’s Protection of Women against Violence Act 2015 was found to be un-Islamic by the CII, The Express Tribune reports.

The PPWA gave legal protection to women from domestic, psychological and sexual violence, according to The Huffington Post. It would have also required a toll-free abuse reporting hotline be created, as well as women’s shelters.

CII’s alternative bill would allow a husband to 'lightly beat' his wife if she defies his commands, does not dress as he desires, refuses sexual intercourse without a religious excuse or does not bathe after sex or menstrual periods, according to The Express Tribune.

A beating may also occur if the woman does not wear a hijab, interacts with strangers, speaks in a voice loud enough for strangers to hear her or gives money to someone without the consent of her husband.

There are additional bans against women suggested in the 163-page bill, such as not allowing them to serve in military combat, welcome foreign delegations, interact with men, participate in co-education after primary school or visit Na-Mehram for recreational purposes.

Additionally, it suggests female nurses should not care for male patients, and that women should not be featured in advertisements.

On the subject of abortion, the bill states that after 120 days from conception, the procedure would be considered murder.

The bill does allow for women to join politics and enter into a marriage contract without gaining permission from her parents. It also states that a person who tries to force a woman to marry will be given a 10-year imprisonment.

If a non-Muslim woman is forced to convert to Islam, the perpetrator will be sentenced to three years in prison, and she will not be murdered if she reverts to her previous religion.

The 20-member CII is a constitutional body that gives recommendations to the Pakistani parliament regarding Islamic laws, but cannot enact them. The bill is being reviewed by the group. There are reportedly members who have raised objections to it, while calling for it to be moderated.

Sources: The Express Tribune, The Huffington Post / Photo credit: Hernan Pinera/Flickr

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