Ben Broadbent, Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, has apologised for calling the UK economy “menopausal”, as per reports in BBC. Broadbent said that using the term was a “poor choice of language”.

He termed economy’s low-productivity era as menopausal

Ben who is the Deputy Governor for monetary policy, suggested this in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, published on Wednesday. Broadbent compared the era to Britain’s “climacteric” productivity growth slump of the 1880s. He elaborated, “climacteric means menopausal, but can apply to both genders… you’ve passed your productive peak”He told the paper: “I once got an economist into the [Monetary Policy Committee] to explain the origins of the word ‘climacteric’. As soon as he started talking to all these middle-aged men – about [how] it means you’re past your peak and you’re no longer so potent – they all said, ‘We understand’.”

Later on Wednesday Broadbent released a message saying:

“I’m sorry for my poor choice of language in an interview with The Telegraph yesterday and regret the offence caused. I was explaining the meaning of the word ‘climacteric’, a term used by economic historians to describe a period of low productivity growth during the 19th century. Economic productivity is something which affects every one of us, of all ages and genders.”

The isn’t the first time Bank of England has been criticised for its attitudes to women. Its gender pay gap report last year showed that men at the Bank are paid 25% more than women on average. Also, of the nine members of the Monetary Policy Committee, only one is female.

His choice of words sparked criticism on Twitter:

In every sense, these bizarre views about menopausal women are demeaning

Broadbent’s comparison of the low economy with menopause is not only demeaning but also worrying. These remarks send out a poor signal to all working women. Terming menopausal women as non-productive implies that the only way women are considered productive is in their ability to produce babies. Menopause is a biological change, and does not influence their intellectual ability to perform at their respective workplaces. If anything menopausal women are more mature, full of wisdom and have an abundance of life’s experience.

Though Ben Broadbent has apologised what’s remains worrying is that such comments aren’t limited to his opinion alone but also many others out there. We believe in this age and time, this kind of attitude and thought shouldn’t hold any place a mainstream discourse.

Picture Credit: The Times

Also: Why The 40s Are My Decade Of Becoming

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Bhawana is an intern with SheThePeople.Tv

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