A session of Italy's northern Lombardy region's parliament was suspended on Tuesday after a rightwing politician said women earn less than men because they'd rather be with their children than work late.
"Any gap between women and men's pay has nothing to do with legislation but is due to overtime," said Northern League councillor Massimiliano Romeo.
"Men say yes [when they are asked to work extra hours] while women prefer to be home looking after their children. Let's be honest," he said.
The parliament speaker briefly suspended debate on a gender equality bill in order to restore order as Romeo sparred with outraged women councillors from several parties including his own over his remarks.