by Jerome Hudson
The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) — Pakistan’s 20-member constitutional body — recently proposed a bill recommending that men bestow a “light beating” onto their defiant wives.
“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 of intercourse without any religious excuse or does not take bath after intercourse or menstrual periods,” the CII bill says, according to Pakistan’s Express-Tribune newspaper.
CII’s bill was in response to a law approved by Punjab, Pakistan’s most populated province, granting women protection from abusive husbands. The CII roundly rejected Punjab’s Protection of Women against Violence Act of 2015, calling the law un-Islamic.
The Council of Islamic Ideology is a 54-year-old advisory body made up of Islamic clerics and scholars responsible for offering legal advice to Pakistani legislators.
Although CII is part of Pakistan’s governmental structure, and provides constitutional recommendations to parliament regarding Islamic laws, its 163-page proposal is non-binding and does not have to be voted on by the Pakistani parliament.
According to the Washington Post, CII’s proposal “would ban women from appearing in television or print advertising and would prohibit female nurses from treating male patients. It also would give a husband permission to forbid his wife from visiting males other than relatives.”
Indeed, violence against women in The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is rampant. The independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan’s annual report revealed hundreds of gang rapes, kidnappings, and burnings and said more than 800 women had committed suicide or attempted to.