BRUSSELS - The European Parliament suspended a Polish lawmaker for 10 days on Tuesday after he said during a debate that women should earn less than men because they are weaker, smaller and less intelligent.
As well as the suspension, Janusz Korwin-Mikke will lose his lawmakers' daily subsistence allowance for 30 days and been banned from representing the legislature for a year, Parliament President Antonio Tajani said as lawmakers met in Strasbourg, France. The latter measure means that he won't be able to participate in parliamentary delegations, for example.
During a March 1 debate 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."
Janusz Korwin-Mikke is seen at an event in October 2016 in Warsaw, Poland. (Photo: Darek Majewski/Gallo Images Poland/Getty Images)
The investigation was opened under rules specifying that members must show mutual respect and refrain from defamatory, racist or xenophobic language or behaviour."
"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."
The European Parliament characterized the sanctions against Korwin-Mikke as being "unprecedented in severity."