This year Punjab approved a law in Pakistan which gives women protection and escape from abusive husbands, but it has been strongly opposed by the Council of Islamic Ideology.
The council, also Known as CII believes that it is “un –Islamic” for a women to leave an abusive relationship and look for escape.
Council said it wanted to spread its own proposal before the bill is expanded in other parts of Pakistan whose draft is now complete. The draft also contains a law opposing the new one in favour of women. It says — husbands should be allowed to “lightly beat” their 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 report states, according to Pakistan’s Express-Tribune newspaper.
- Currently, Pakistan’s domestic violence abuse laws are vague, although prosecution even in the most heinous cases has been rare.
- CII claims that the proposal is based on sharia law and koranic teaching which also seek to allow domestic if the women disagrees to cover her face in public or interacts with strangers; speaks loud enough that she can easily be heard by strangers; and provides monetary support to people without taking consent of her spouse.
- The proposal contains 163 page document which will ban pakistani women from appearing in television or print advertising campaigns and would prohibit female nurses from treating male patients. It would also give a husband permission to forbid his wife from visiting males other than relatives.
- “It shows the decadent mind-set of some elements who are part of the council. The proposed bill has nothing to do with Islam and it would just bring a bad name to this country.” Said Farzana Bari , an human rights activist based in Islamabad.
- Pakistan has a reputation of lagging behind in women rights but women had enjoyed the power of voting since 1947 when it got separated from India.
- In 1988, Pakistani’s elected the late Benazir Bhutto as prime minister, the first Muslim-majority nation to install a female head of state.
- Even CII the proposed document contain a law which allows pakistani women to marry without the permission of her parents.
- CII also proposed that there should be a wait up of 120 days after conception before abortion can be declared “murder.
- But Bari hopes the Pakistani public sees the document for what it is: a cringe-worthy example of why the CII should be disbanded.
- “Violence against women can’t be accepted, and it’s time for the nation to stand up to people who come up with such proposed laws,” Bari said.
-by Bhaskar Raghavendran
Bhaskar is a graduate in Journalism and mass communication and a reporter at NewsGram. Twitter handle: bhaskar_ragha