Nigel Farage found himself teetering dangerously close to hot water yesterday after claiming that women who take time off work to have children are “worth less” to City employers than men.
The Ukip leader made the comments during a speech in the City. He was making the argument that women are able to do as well in city careers, but he says this is only possible if they are prepared to sacrifice a traditional family life. Farage carried on by saying that there is no longer discrimination against women in financial institutions and suggested gender imbalances are caused by females making “different choices” for “biological reasons”.
“In many, many cases, women make different choices in life to the ones that men make simply for biological reasons,” he said. “If a woman has a client base and has a child and takes two or three years off work, she is worth far less to the employer when she comes back than when she goes away because her client base cannot be stuck rigidly to her.”
“I do not believe there is any discrimination against women at all. I think that young, able women who are prepared to sacrifice the family life and stick with their careers do as well, if not better, than men.”
The Maternity Action Group suggested that his views could make life more difficult for women returning to work. The director of the charity said she was “very disappointed at the criticism of working mothers”.
“This will make life more difficult for the hundreds of thousands of women who are doing an effective job of balancing work and family responsibilities. We need practical support for new mothers at work, not more criticism.”
In a seperate statement later in the day Farage said “I think the reality for women in the City is that if they have children it has a very detrimental effect on their future pay prospects.”
Asked whether he thought this was fair, Farage said: “I can’t change biology.”
Nigel Farage also came under fire earlier this week after some comments he made about the future of the NHS. Watch the video here.
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