A Polish politician has been suspended by the European Parliament for 10 days after saying women should earn less than men because they are weaker, smaller and less intelligent.
Janusz Korwin-Mikke will also lose his lawmakers’ daily subsistence allowance for 30 days, meaning he stands to lose €9,180 in total.
He has also been banned from representing the legislature for a year, meaning he will not be able to participate in parliamentary delegations, Parliament President Antonio Tajani said on Tuesday.
Tajani’s announcement was greeted by applause. Korwin-Mikke appeared to laugh and clap himself as his punishment was read out, the Associated Press reports.
The European Parliament said the sanctions were “unprecedented in severity”.
During a debate on March 1 over on the gender pay gap, Korwin-Mikke, a radical right-winger who leads a marginal party, said: “Of course women must earn less than men because they are weaker, they are smaller, they are less intelligent. They must earn less, that’s all.”
Parliamentary authorities opened an investigation under rules specifying that members must show mutual respect and refrain from “defamatory, racist or xenophobic language or behavior”.
“I will not tolerate such behaviour, in particular when it comes from someone who is expected to discharge his duties as a representative of the peoples of Europe with due dignity,” Tajani said.
“By offending all women, (Korwin-Mikke) displayed contempt for our most fundamental values.”
Korwin-Mikke clashed with Piers Morgan on International Women’s Day last week when the Good Morning Britain presenter called the politician a “horrendous sexist pig”.