Pakistani cleric Fazl-Fazlur Rehman, above, is not a happy Islamist. Why? Because he fears that a new law passed to protect women from violence will weaken men’s authority over females.
The chief of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, who once blamed women who wear jeans for earthquakes and inflation in Pakistan, was reacting to news that, last Thursday, the Punjab provincial legislature passed the Protection of Women against Violence Bill 2015.
The legislation, according to this report, aims both to end violence against women and empower them. It is popularly referred to as the pro-women law.
Rehman condemned the law saying:
Husband and wife are considered partners in the West, but it is not the case in Pakistan. This law will intrude upon individual privacy and it would hurt Pakistan’s strong family structure, something that is lacking in the West.
This law makes a man insecure. It is an attempt to make Pakistan a colony again.
Enter Mufti Muhammad Naeem, chief of Jamia Binoria International, above. He bleated that the bill was designed to suppress men at the hands of women:
It is a tragedy.
While there are several laws in Pakistan protecting women, few have been effective. The controversial new bill aims to rectify this by making domestic violence, all forms of abuse, stalking, cyber crimes, and such offences, illegal.
It goes further to set up helplines for women to register their complaints, as well as reconciliation and protection centers in districts.
It requires that family courts act upon complaints within seven days and facilitate results within three months. For serious offences, courts can order defendants to wear GPS-linked bracelets to monitor their movements.
In 2011, Pakistan ranked as the third most dangerous country in the world for women, after Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Almost 74 percent of crimes against women in Pakistan were reported in Punjab, according to a study by a independent group.