Young women who drink too much are partly responsible for Poland’s low birth rate, the leader of the country’s ruling party has said.

In remarks which sparked outrage and which were described as “insulting” to women, Jaroslaw Kaczynski said he was not in favor of “very early motherhood” because a woman must mature before have children.

The leader of the populist ruling Law and Justice party said if women abuse alcohol up to the age of 25, then “it’s not a good prognosis in those areas”.

“And there, you sometimes have to say a little openly, bitter things. If, for example, the situation remains such that, up to the age of 25, girls, young women, drink the same amount as their peers, there is will have no children,” Mr. Kaczynski said.

He added that the average man “to develop alcoholism must drink excessively for 20 years” and “a woman only two”.

“I’m really a sincere believer in women’s equality, but I’m not a fan of women pretending to be men and men pretending to be women, because that’s something completely different,” he said. declared.

Mr Kaczynski made the comment over the weekend as he traveled across the country seeking to rally support for his party ahead of next year’s parliamentary elections.

Opposition politicians and other critics have accused the long-time single 73-year-old of being out of touch – and himself partly responsible for the low birth rate in the central European nation of 38 million inhabitants.

Some pointed to abortion restrictions that discouraged some women from having children.

Others noted the difficulty young people have in raising their families due to rising costs in a country where inflation is now nearing 18%.

When a government official claimed on a television talk show that the influence of alcohol on fertility was in fact a legitimate topic of debate, an opposition politician, Kamila Gasiuk-Pihowicz, replied: ” It’s not a debate, it’s an insult to Polish women.”

Mr Kaczynski defended himself by saying that “an honest politician, if he knows such a thing, must speak about it”.

The number of births per woman in Poland has increased from 3 in 1960 to 1.32 in 2021, according to Polish state data, which is low but still higher than some other European countries.

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