Justin Trudeau has been criticised for telling a woman to use the word “peoplekind” rather than “mankind”.
The Canadian Prime Minister interrupted a woman, identified only as Aimee from The World Mission Society Church Of God, who was asking him a question during an event in Edmonton, Alberta.
The controversial church was started in South Korea in the 1960s, but critics claim it is a cult.
Aimee was quizzing Mr Trudeau about policies on religious charities when she said: “We came here today to ask you to also look into the policies that religious charitable organisations have in our legislation so that it can also be changed, because maternal love is the love that’s going to change the future of mankind.”
The Canadian leader then interjected and waved his left hand, saying: “We like to say ‘peoplekind’. Not necessarily mankind, because it’s more inclusive. We can all learn from each other.”
Mr Trudeau’s intervention prompted applause from the audience, but critics have accused him of “mansplaining” and making up a word.
Canadian MP Michelle Rempel tweeted:
CBC columnist Robyn Urback wrote:
Others ridiculed Mr Trudeau, sarcastically imaging other words the Canadian PM might like to change:
A spokesman for Mr Trudeau quoted by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation did not comment specifically on the criticism, but said: “The Prime Minister is a proud feminist, and our government’s policies reflect our commitments to equality.”
Mr Trudeau also backed changing Canada’s national anthem to make it gender neutral, calling it a “positive step towards gender equality”.
The country’s approved legislation this month to change the second line of O Canada from “true patriot love, in all thy sons command” to “true patriot love, in all of us command”.
In an essay for Marie Claire magazine, Mr Trudeau also said he was raising his sons, Xavier and Hadrien, as feminists, as “our sons have the power and responsibility to change our culture of sexism”.