A Malaysian woman minister has sparked outrage after she advised husbands to beat their “stubborn” wives “gently” to discipline them for “unruly” behaviour, Daily Mail reported.
Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff, the Deputy Minister for Women, Family and Community Development, was accused of “normalising” domestic violence by urging men to strike their wives to show how strict he is and “how much he wants her to change”.
In a two-minute video posted on Instagram called ‘Mother’s Tips’, the Deputy Minister firstly advised husbands to “discipline” their “stubborn” wives by speaking to them. But if they did not change their behaviour, then they should sleep apart from them for three days, the report said.
“However, if the wife still refuses to take the advice, or change her behaviour after the sleeping separation, then the husbands can try the physical touch approach, by striking her gently, to show his strictness and how much he wants her to change,” Siti Zailah said in the video, Daily Mail reported.
The Deputy Minister, who is an MP for the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, also urged women to only speak to their husbands if they have permission in order to win over their partners.
“Speak to your husbands when they are calm, finished eating, have prayed and are relaxed,” she said. “When we want to speak, ask for permission first.”
A coailition of women’s rights groups, the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality, accused Siti Zailah of “normalising” domestic violence and demanded she resign from her position.
“The Deputy Minister must step down for normalising domestic violence, which is a crime in Malaysia, as well as for perpetuating ideas and behaviours that are opposed to gender equality,” a joint statement read, the report said.
The organisation said between 2020 and 2021, there were 9,015 police reports on domestic violence and those figures will in reality be higher as they do not include the women who have reported abuse to charities.