By Agence France-Presse
Pakistani media and activists poured scorn Friday on a suggestion from an Islamic religious body that men should be allowed to “lightly beat” their wives, made in their draft of a women’s protection bill.
The Council of Islamic Ideology released a draft of the bill on Thursday, their response to progressive legislation giving women greater rights and protection in the province of Punjab.
Local media quoted the draft as saying: “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 proposal was met with a wave of mockery in the media and online Friday.
The country’s biggest and most influential newspaper, the English-language daily Dawn, published a satirical article with a list of things people could beat other than their wives — including eggs, the bottom of ketchup bottles, and the Michael Jackson hit Beat It.
The article was a rare example of the media mocking those claiming to speak in the name of religion in conservative Muslim Pakistan.
The draft was also slammed by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, which condemned its recommendations as “ridiculous” and called for the council of “zealots” to be disbanded.
“It is difficult to comprehend why anyone in his right mind would think that any further encouragement or justification is needed to invite violence upon women in Pakistan,” the HRCP stated.
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