Libya 'wastes' by educating women

2010-05-05 20:25

Cairo - Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's son Seif al-Islam said on Wednesday that state resources were "wasted" on women who prefer to get married and stay at home rather than work.

"Women don't face any kind of discrimination in Libya. Women and men are equal," Kadhafi told students, academics and dignitaries at the American University in Cairo.

"Women are very powerful in Libyan society. They are in the army, they are pilots... women are taking part in every company, any ministry," he told the packed auditorium, adding "they can drive" in a dig at Saudi Arabia, with which Libya had tense relations for years.

"The problem in Libya is that they waste the resources of the society... the state spends a lot of money to educate women and then they get married and stay at home.

"This is the problem in Libya - the women."

Seif al-Islam's father, Muammar Gaddafi, who has ruled Libya for over 40 years and who has in the past described himself as a defender of feminism, has a unit of women-only bodyguards trained at an elite Libyan officers' academy.