Malaysian woman minister advises men to 'gently beat stubborn wives' in Instagram video

Malaysian woman minister advises men to 'gently beat stubborn wives' in Instagram video
Women's organisations have called for the resignation of Malaysian politician Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff, who advised men to 'use physical touch' to discipline 'unruly wives' in a controversial Instagram video.
2 min read
17 February, 2022
Malaysian women's rights groups have called for Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff's resignation over her comments advising men to 'gently beat stubborn' wives [Getty]

A female minister in Malaysia has sparked outrage by offering men advice on how to "discipline" wives who display “unruly” behaviour.

Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff, a member of parliament in Malaysia who serves as the deputy minister for women, family and community development, has been accused of "normalising" domestic violence in the video she posted to her official Instagram page.

In the video, called Mother’s Tips, Yusoff tells husbands to first speak to “undisciplined and stubborn wives” and, if they are not cooperative, to sleep apart from them for three days.

Should the wife not take her husband’s advice, and if her behaviour does not "change" after the three-day period, Yusoff said: "The husband can try the physical touch approach, which is gentle, which is to educate, which is full of love, to show his strictness and how much he wants her to change".

Yusoff, a member of the Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), additionally advised that women must seek their husbands’ permission to speak, in order to "win them" over. 

Women must only speak to their spouses "when they are calm" and have "finished eating, have prayed and are relaxed", she added.

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Several women’s organisations have backed the Joint Action for Gender Equality (JAG)’s call for Yusoff to resign over the video, which they deemed "in support for domestic violence, and accused her of perpetuating behaviours that are opposed to gender inequality."