31 May 2016

Who are the Pakistani group proposing to 'lightly beat' women?

A Pakistani group has come under fire for drafting a so-called women's protection bill that suggests a husband can "lightly beat" his wife to keep her in line. What is this body and does it have any real power? The BBC's M Ilyas Khan explains.

Created by a military government in 1961, the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) is a 20-member constitutional body that advises the government on religious aspects of the law and society - but its recommendations are not binding.

The constitution says CII members should be "well-qualified". It specifies that the council should have at least two retired judges, four members with a minimum of of 15 years of experience in Islamic research and teaching, and that members should have an "understanding of the economic, political, legal or administrative problems of Pakistan".

In practice though, this definition has been stretched to include men from religious pressure groups whose careers have been limited to administering or teaching in religious seminaries where contemporary knowledge is looked down upon. [BBC] Read more