Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for the country’s women to be more involved in politics, saying it was vital to strengthen Russia’s democracy.
“Women, especially in a democracy, should have the opportunity to play a larger role in the management of society,” he said during a news conference on Wednesday.
Mr Putin was responding to a question about whether Russia had lost its democracy when he called for more women to participate in politics.
The comments came in response to a report in The Times of London that found the country had lost the right to elect its president.
In a statement, Russia’s state news agency RIA-Novosti said Mr Putin had spoken to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on the sidelines of a summit of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
“The Russian president stressed the need for all citizens to play their part in ensuring that the country will remain in its place in the international community,” the statement read.
But the Russian media did not say whether Mr Putin referred to his comments at the same time.
On Wednesday, Mr Putin was speaking in an interview with Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, in which he was asked about his plans for a female president.
“I think women have to have more power,” Mr Putin said.
“If I could ask one thing, the first thing I would like to ask women to have is to play the role of the wives and mothers.”
In order to make that happen, they need to play more of a leadership role, because the government is a family.
“The interview followed reports that the Kremlin was considering removing Mr Putin from power if the opposition party, the United Russia, did not agree to drop its campaign to install him.
The report said that Mr Putin told the newspaper that he would have to resign if the United States did not back down.
The United States has repeatedly rejected the allegations and called for Mr Putin to step down if Russia’s authorities do not change.
Russia has long been considered one of the most authoritarian countries in the world, but the country has recently come under increasing pressure to reform its approach to political life.
It is believed that a significant number of women have been detained over alleged political activity.