Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

#TryBeatingMeLightly: Women respond to draft bill that would allow men to “lightly beat” their wives

try beating me lightly.JPG

Earlier this year, it looked as though positive steps were being taken by the government in Pakistan when it passed a women’s protection law to make it easier for female victims of domestic abuse to come forward.

But last week, a group that advises the government, the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), rejected the Punjab Assembly’s bill on the grounds it was “un-Islamic” and drafted a new 163-page bill that says although any violence that damages bones should be forbidden, a husband should be allowed to “lightly beat” his wife in order to discipline her.

Behaviour that warrants a “light” beating includes a wife wearing clothes of which her husband does not approve, speaking loudly enough to be heard by strangers and turning down sex without ‘Islamic’ justification for doing so, as well as not taking a bath “after intercourse or menstrual periods”.

Pakistani people have not taken to the bill without protest, and one in particular has launched a social media campaign against it: photographer Fahhad Rajper.

Rajper took to Facebook to respond to the bill, posting a photo gallery with captions from women explaining how they would react to being beaten “lightly”. He then encouraged women to post their responses, using the hashtag #TryBeatingMeLightly.

Writing in a post, Rajper says: “TryBeatingMeLightly is an initiative to empower women amongst us who work towards individual and collective betterment. It's an opportunity for those to voice their opinions who can't or don't. The women around me, at my home, in my friend circle and in the industry that I love – like yourself.

“This isn't for me, it's for all men who as much as get a faint thought of putting a woman down! More power to you.”

The draft bill, which has not yet been sent to Pakistan's lawmakers, also says female nurses shouldn't take care of male patients, a husband could forbid his wife from visiting men they're not related to, women should be banned from receptions held for visiting foreign dignitaries and shouldn't appear in advertising.

The BBC reports that Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah rejected the ideas, saying, “Islam does not allow any violence, whether against women or children,” while the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan recommended abolishing the CII, whose recommendations are not binding.

Activists were angered earlier this year when the CII blocked a law raising the marriageable age in Pakistan from 16 to 18 and called the potential change “blasphemous”. The group recommended that the marriageable age in Pakistan be lowered to 12 for boys and nine for girls “provided there are visible signs of puberty”.

A spokesperson told Al Jazeera at the time: “If those elements are not present, then 15 should be the legal age. It doesn't mean that a girl should be married off as soon as she turns nine [...] But the impression that the act should be punishable is not correct [...] From religious teachings, it is quite clear that if puberty is reached as early as nine, the girl can be married off.

The group says the draft bill has not yet been sent to lawmakers for review.

Related

steven avery making a murder appeal latest news.jpg

Making a Murderer: Steven Avery's appeal has been delayed

date rape.jpg

The three women who foiled a man's alleged attempt to rape his date

GettyImages-533664802.jpg

“I am not safe”: Twitter ignores rape messages sent to Jess Phillips

amber heard granted domestic violence restraining order johnny depp divorce.jpg

Amber Heard granted restraining order against Johnny Depp

jodie foster.jpg

Jodie Foster opens up about her fear of failure

facebook study gender words.jpg

Study reveals gender differences in the language we use online

Main_rt.jpg

Stylist talks work and ambition with Broadchurch’s Jodie Whittaker

iStock_000091479671_Medium.jpg

Lucy Mangan on the legal precedent for psychological abuse

charlotte church new interview 2016 online abuse trolls.jpg

Charlotte Church on dealing with “hardcore” online abuse

Comments

More

Watch the risqué new trailer for Fifty Shades Darker

Christian Grey is back...

by Sarah Biddlecombe
07 Dec 2016

New social platform wants to make sure nobody’s lonely this Christmas

“It’s like Tinder, but for Christmas”

by Amy Lewis
07 Dec 2016

How to buy bubbles: 8 incredible Champagnes under £30

Fantastic fizz

by Amy Swales
07 Dec 2016

Holiday hack gets you 18 days off work in a row, using just 9 days

And for our next trick we’ll turn 9 days of annual leave into 18…

by Kayleigh Dray
07 Dec 2016

Say hello to London’s first ever vegan fried chicken shop

Sounds impossible, is actually genius.

by Amy Lewis
07 Dec 2016

Revealed: the 25 best companies to work for in 2017

Time to brush up on your CV?

by Sarah Biddlecombe
07 Dec 2016

13 white wines that aren't Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc

Sick of the usual suspects?

by Victoria Gray
07 Dec 2016

You need to watch this unlikely Christmas advert hit

We’re not crying, we just have something in our eye…

by Kayleigh Dray
07 Dec 2016

Your new £5 note might be worth £50,000 if it has this secret doodle

There are four notes in circulation with a tiny hidden addition

by Amy Swales
07 Dec 2016

Son shares mum's struggle to sell crafts: Twitter comes to the rescue

This may restore (some of) your faith in 2016.

by Amy Lewis
06 Dec 2016