Brussels, March 3 (IANS) A Polish member of the European Parliament sparked outrage when he claimed that women "must" earn less than men in the workplace because they are "weaker, smaller and less intelligent".
Janusz Korwin-Mikke, the conservative and Eurosceptic politician from Warsaw, made the comments during Thursday debate in the Brussels Parliament about the gender pay gap in Europe and how the EU can address it, the Telegraph reported.
He said: "Women should earn less than men, because they are weaker, they are smaller, they are less intelligent, and they must earn less! That's all".
Korwin-Mikke said his point was justified because there were no women in the "first 100 chess players".
His comments were not taken kindly by Spanish MEP Iratxe Garcia Perez, who angrily replied: "Look, according to your theory, I should not have the right to be here, as a member of this Parliament."
Perez, who is a member of the Socialist Worker's Party in Spain, continued: "And I know it hurts you, I know it hurts and worries you, that today women can sit in this house and represent European citizens with the same rights as you.
"I am here to defend all European women from men like you," she saod.
At the end of the debate, EU Commissioner Vera Jourova said the gender pay gap was perpetuated by remarks by politicians like Korwin-Mikke which "demonstrate the lack of respect to women".
The European Parliament is now discussing whether to reprimand Korwin-Mikke with a fine or temporary suspension.
Many on social media condemned his comments.
One Twitter user commented: "He does not represent men. He is an arrogant abomination that should be run out of Parliament."
Another said: This gentleman is clearly from the dark ages...can you say retirement time?"
The right-wing politician also been accused of racism in the past.
In July 2015, he was suspended from Parliament after giving a Nazi salute. Korwin-Mikke was criticised and suspended for 10 days from parliamentary activities and fined after giving a speech on migrants, describing them as "human garbage".