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Brazil's Temer says women should retire earlier than men: paper

Brazil's interim President Michel Temer attends a meeting with governors of Brazilian states, at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, June 20, 2016. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil’s interim President Michel Temer told local newspapers women should retire earlier than men, explaining why he did not support making a potential minimum retirement age equal for both sexes as his government tackles pension reform.

“A little difference is reasonable,” Temer said according to an interview published in O Globo newspaper on Saturday. “The woman, in addition to outside work, does the inner work in the home, she is a mother, etc., sometimes cares for siblings.”

Former Vice President Temer took over from President Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s first female leader, after she was placed on trial in the Senate for breaking budget rules last month. Impeachment proceedings are due to conclude in August.

Temer is backed by the powerful “bible, beef and bullets” caucus in Congress, which groups evangelical Christians, the farm lobby and lawmakers determined to ease strict firearms controls.

The interim government is expected to propose a minimum retirement age as part of a broader pension reform in coming weeks, as it focuses on curbing spending in Latin America’s largest economy.

While other countries have divergent retirement ages for men and women, many, like the United Kingdom, are phasing them out.

Temer, 75, was criticized for appointing an all-white, all-male cabinet upon taking office in one of the world’s largest and most diverse democracies.

He spoke to journalists from five different local papers on Friday.

Reporting by Caroline Stauffer