Female teachers from the city of Yekaterinburg concerned about pay cuts were told by a regional official that finding a rich husband would put an end to their financial woes, a local news site reported this week.
Nikolai Kosarev, a local legislator and the regional head of the All-Russia People's Front, a coalition of pro-Kremlin groups, told an audience of primarily female teachers at a meeting at the Urals State Mining University devoted to the issue of pay cuts that the key to financial stability lay in their ability to attract a wealthy man.
"I want to give you some advice: Focus on your personal life and find a well-off man," Kosarev, who is also rector of the mining university, was quoted as saying by local news site 66.ru. "There are lots of good men in Russia, including miners."
Kosarev added that in the event that these "good men" would mistreat them, the All-Russia People's Front would come to the rescue.
Kosarev later told regional news site Ura.ru that his remark had been taken out of context.
"I think that a woman's happiness can be found within the family," Ura.ru quoted Kosarev as saying Wednesday. "A woman should not work for the money, but for the art form … Men should support them. Otherwise, a woman turns into a workhorse who toils for 40 hours [a week] and on top of that should be loving, educating and taking care of the household."
In September, the Sverdlovsk region — of which Yekaterinburg is the administrative center — cut teachers' paychecks, slashing their salary fund by 75 million rubles ($1.2 million).
Teachers in the Sverdlovsk region make 29,600 rubles ($596) on average a month, according to 66.ru. Their salary falls just short of the national monthly average of 30,000 rubles ($604).