Mugabe: Men and women can never be equal

2015-02-01 13:15

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Newly elected African Union (AU) chairperson Robert Mugabe said men and women differ to such an extent biologically that “not even gays” can bear babies.

Mugabe, joined by AU Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, addressed a press conference in the Nelson Mandela plenary hall at AU headquarters in Addis Ababa late on Saturday night after a late-running sitting of the AU assembly.

“We have been working for equal work for equal wages. But total parity, there are certain things men can do that women may not be able to do. You can’t suckle babies can you, can you bear them in your tummies?” he asked a male journalist.

“Even the gay ones, they can’t do that. So there is no parity biologically, but what we have done in Zimbabwe was to bring about real, real, real parity. Our women can become ministers of government, judges, farmers, pilots, female pilots.”

He said this after he was asked about similar remarks he had made to a journalist earlier in the week on the topic of the summit, which was women empowerment.

Asked what she thought about his remarks, Dlamini- Zuma said she hadn’t seen it, but “my knowledge of the president is that he is very supportive of the empowerment of women and he defends the women.

“He has explained and he is correct, we perform different biological functions and that is fine, I don’t think there is a problem with that, that is how nature intended it to be. The human race, we are the custodians of that, if you want to make it extinct then it will be extinct, but because we want the human race to continue, we made sure that the human race continues, and I think that’s the context.”

Dlamini Zuma urged journalists to help the AU carry out its message of Agenda 2063, which is the AU’s plan for working towards an ideal Africa in about 50 years’ time.

Mugabe has been elected AU chair for one year after which the position will rotate to the first vice- chairperson, Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila.

There has been talk that Mugabe was not the right person for the position because he faces travel bans to some regions and countries, but he said during his term he would not focus on what “the West” says about him, but rather on importing the summit decisions to better the standards of living for people on the continent.

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