A Polish member of the European Union Parliament is to lose his subsistence allowance of $9,750 as punishment for calling women “weaker” and “less intelligent” during a debate.
Parliament President Antonio Tajani while announcing the punishment for Janusz Korwin-Mikke, 74, also suspended him from parliamentary activities for 10 day.
Members also prohibited Korwin-Mikke from representing the chamber for one year at outside events.
Tajani said the severity of the sanctions were unprecedented, in order to be commensurate with the gravity of the offence.
“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,” he said.
The penalties refer to comments Korwin-Mikke made during a plenary debate on the gender pay gap.
“Of course women must earn less than men because they are weaker, they are smaller and they are less intelligent, they must earn less, that’s all,” Korwin-Mikke said.
A clip of Korwin-Mikke’s sexist tirade went viral, with commenters cheering the response of lawmaker Iratxe Perez from Spain.
“Well, according to what you’re saying and according to your theory, I wouldn’t have the right to be here as a member of parliament.
“I know you are very upset and very concerned about the fact that we women can represent citizens on equal footing with you.
“I think I need to defend European women from people like you,” she said.
EU lawmakers, who were visibly flabbergasted by the comments, called for sanctions against Korwin-Mikke, who is the chairman of a eurosceptic, conservative party in Poland but is not affiliated with any parliamentary party at the EU.