Brazilian president under fire over praise of women's supermarket skills

Several feminist groups protest against the Michel Temer government during a march on Women's Day on March 8, 2017 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Story highlights

  • Brazilian president flubs Women's Day speech with references considered sexist
  • Demonstrators take to the streets to protest against his government

(CNN)Brazilian President Michel Temer has sparked a wave of anger following a speech to mark International Women's Day, with his references to women's domestic roles drawing accusations of sexism on social media.

Wednesday's speech began cordially enough, with compliments to female representatives of the Senate and Lower House, who were present at the event at the Planato presidential palace.
    He highlighted the importance of women's struggles in Brazil, from gaining equal voting rights to fighting femicide.
    He compared the country's successes to others who still treat women as "second class citizens," and praised his wife Marcela and other women in his life for everything they do "in the house, in the home and for their children."
    While these comments may have led to some tepid applause and barely noticeable eye rolls, it was his praise of women's "economic contributions" that left both men and women across social media in Brazil flabbergasted.
    "Nobody is more capable to pointing out the unbalances in, let's say, supermarket prices than women," Temer said.
    "Nobody is more capable of detecting eventual economic fluctuation than women, since they monitor the increases and decreases of their home's budgets."
    The comments were quickly seized upon by Brazilians, many of whom considered them sexist.
    "Really Temer, the role of women in the (economy) only is to check supermarket prices? With us earning less and working a lot more?" one said.
    Brazilian journalist Andre Trigueiro said Temer's "vision" reminded him of biblical references that equate women to Adam's rib.