A member of the European Parliament is facing possible punishment after stating that women "must earn less than men because they are weaker, smaller, and less intelligent," the BBC reports. According to the Huffington Post, the statement was made by 74-year-old Janusz Korwin-Mikke while the parliament was discussing the gender pay gap. Korwin-Mikke is an independent member of parliament who founded his own right-wing political party, Poland's Renewal of the Republic—Freedom and Hope, CNN reports. His statement may have broken the European Parliament's rules against racist, xenophobic, or defamatory conduct, for which Korwin-Mikke could be fined or suspended.
Other parliamentary members quickly spoke out against Korwin-Mikke's statement. One member from the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party said she would defend European women against men like Korwin-Mikke. And London Labour parliamentary member Seb Dance tells the Independent that Korwin-Mikke, who he calls a nationalist and extremist, "crossed a line and must lose the right to be taken seriously on anything." Korwin-Mikke has been punished by the European Parliament in the past for likening migrants arriving in Europe to "excrement" and giving a Nazi salute in front of the parliament. He's previously said women shouldn't have the right to vote and was investigated for incitement to rape.