Pakistan’s 20-member Council of Islamic Ideology has proposed allowing a man to ‘lightly beat’ his wife if she commits certain ‘offences’. The council which is a constitutional body of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan advises the government but cannot make laws.
Amongst its recommendations, it suggests women can be beaten for a raft of offences including refusal to have sex without a religious excuse, failure to bathe after intercourse and periods, for not wearing hijabs, or for speaking so loudly that strangers can hear them.
The bill goes ahead to recommend that women should be banned from military combat, welcoming foreign delegations and appearing in advertisements, and must have spousal permission to give monetary support to somebody.
Female nurses should be banned from taking care of male patients and there should be no-co-education after primary school, it suggests.
The bill advises that a woman must not interact with strangers and that abortion after 120 days should be declared murder.
However, it says that a woman can participate in politics without the permission of her parents and that anyone who tries to force women to marry should be jailed for ten years.
The bill didn’t receive the council’s unanimous approval, three of its members rejected some of the proposals in the bill during heated discussion led by Chairman Muhammad Khan Sheerani while the only female member of the council, Dr Sameeha Raheel Qazi, was not present on Wednesday when it was being discussed.