Brazil's Michel Temer tries calming row over housewife comments

Brazil's President Michel Temer gestures during a ceremony at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, March 7, 2017.
Brazil's President Michel Temer gestures during a ceremony at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, March 7, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - Brazil's President Michel Temer tried on Thursday (March 9) to quiet criticism over remarks on International Women's Day, when he praised women's skillfulness at shopping and raising children.

Temer, who took over last year after the impeachment of Brazil's first woman leader, triggered a storm of protest on social media after he marked the March 8 events by praising housewives.

"No one is better at monitoring the shifts in, let's say, supermarket prices than women," he said on Wednesday, also stressing that child rearing "is not done by the man, it's the woman."

Temer, who is deeply unpopular, sought to repair the fallout on Thursday with tweets supportive of women's wider rights.

"We are in the Week of the Woman. My government will do everything for women to be able to play an ever bigger role in society," he said in one tweet.

"We won't tolerate prejudice and violence against women," he wrote in another.

Temer, 76, was vice-president before taking the top job in the wake of Dilma Rousseff's impeachment.

His wife, 33-year-old former beauty queen Marcela Temer, rarely speaks in public and was described in a national magazine last year as "beautiful, demure and a housewife."