Of course they are. Allah told them to: "Righteous women are therefore obedient, guarding the secret for God's guarding. And those you fear may be rebellious admonish; banish them to their couches, and beat them." -- Qur'an 4:34.
"Tanzania: Zanzibar Men Still Beat Their Wives, Says Report," by Issa Yussuf for the Tanzania Daily News, August 29:
DESPITE ongoing efforts to minimize domestic violence, promote gender equality and empower women, new study in Zanzibar indicates that many women are still beaten and bullied by men including Muslim clerics!
In its report, the Tanzania Media Women Association (TAMWA) - Zanzibar revealed that although men beat women, but the number of cases being reported to the police remain few, mainly because most women opt to tolerate violence in order to keep her family together. "Women have testified to have been bullied and beaten by men, but they think it is improper to report the case....
The study has revealed that some husbands/men in Zanzibar, Muslim dominated islands, are violent and say that Islam through the holy book of Quran and Prophet Muhammad allows them to beat disobedient women. But does Islam allow wife beating? Is there any logical explanation given regarding men being allowed to beat their wives, as 'stated' in the Holy Book (Surat An-Nisaa, verse 34)?
TAMWA's study shows that although there is a consensus among Human Rights activities, and religious leaders including Muslims that beating women is not good and unacceptable in the mature and civilized society, but some Muslims clerics maintain that beating without harm is appropriate way of reforming a woman who 'misbehaves.'...
Many people have criticized Islam because of this harsh sanction and many Muslims have written articles seeking to defend it. He says that Prophet Muhammad's viewpoint of women was that they "lack self-control" and thus for their own good, and societies' good, they must be subordinate to and managed by their husbands. Wives must obey. In an Islamic marriage when a man gives his bride a dowry he is accredited the right to manage his wife. By accepting his dowry a woman is giving her husband the right to her regulation.
Silas says that Muhammad urged his followers (Muslims) to treat their wives well and the Quran's chapter 4 is full of these sincere admonitions. He did not want to see them beaten without cause and he wanted good marriage relationships. "However, Muhammad's desires for happy marriages and kind treatment do not mitigate the authority he gave men over women or the position he ascribed to women.
Wives are to be treated gently and kindly but are still under the man's authority. If she persists in disobedience to his wishes he has the right, and the responsibility, to 'beat' her to bring her into submission once again, and re-establish a happy marriage." Silas wrote. Dr Muzammil Siddiqi, Islamic scholar in the US, and former President of the Islamic Society of North America argues that the verse mentioned in the Quran has been greatly misconceived by many people who focus merely on its surface meaning, taking it to allow wife beating....
Yes, yes of course, it is all a misunderstanding of Islam, as always.