Last week, legislation was proposed in Pakistan that would allow men to “lightly beat” their wives if they refused intercourse or declined to wear clothes preferred by their husband.
The 160-page document was submitted by the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), a powerful constitutional body in Pakistan. The bill recommends that these physical tactics be used only as a last resort for a wife’s defiance, but alleged that men who choose not to engage in these practices must be prosecuted.
According to NBC, the document was created in response to a gender-equality law pushed by Pakistan’s Punjab province called Protection of Women Against Violence Act, which the CII referred to as “un-Islamic.”
Since the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, while guaranteeing gender equality, enables the State to make any special provision for the protection of women, it is necessary to protect women against violence including domestic violence, to establish a protection system for effective service delivery to women victims and to create an enabling environment to encourage and facilitate women freely to play their desired role in the society...
In addition to advocating the use of “limited violence” against womne for refusing to wear certain outfits or have sex with their husbands, the CII also advocates for this form of punishment if wives don’t shower after intercourse or during menstruation. It would also ban women nurses from treating male patients unless the patient is their husband, brother or father.
The list goes on. It even goes so far as to provide instructions on how to administer the beatings:
"Hit her in areas where her skin is not too thick and not too thin," CII leader Maulana Muhammad Khan Sherani told a press conference in Islamabad on Thursday. "Do not use shoes or a broom on the head, or hit her on the nose or eyes."
"Do not break any bones or cut her skin or leave any marks," he added. "Do not hit her vindictively, but only for reminding her about her religious duties."
Since the council does not have the ability to make laws, the completed document will be sent off to lawmakers in the Punjab province for approval. But its existence is not being overlooked in the country.
A former member of the CII, Allama Tahir Ashrafi told NBC that “Violence is forbidden in Islam, period.” Allama reportedly left the organization due to "religious regions."
He said the council should be speaking "about rape, about the increasing divorce rate, about suicide bombing — but they avoid these issues."
A Punjab province law minister also expressed concerns over the legislation, asking, “How will [the law] ensure that 'light beating' doesn't become 'heavy beating?’”
These questions have not been answered, nor do I think they ever will be. But you know what’s the most ridiculous part of all of this? That although the 160-page document is immensely abhorrent and objectionable, there is complete silence from the feminists of the world.