Watch | Stephen Hawking: I am a feminist
Five most powerful people in Britain are now women, Professor Stephen Hawking has said, claiming there has been a ‘seismic shift’ in gender equality.
The 75-year-old astrophysicist said that the Queen, Prime Minister Theresa May, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick were evidence that times had changed.
However he argued that the private sector was yet to catch up.
“I welcome these signs of women’s liberation,” he said on an interview with Piers Morgan for ITV’s Good Morning Britain.
“But there may still be a gap between those women achieving high public status and those in the private sector.
“It is not scientific proof of gender equality that is required, but general acceptance that women are at least the equals of men, or better.
“This is coming. If we factor in high-powered women in Europe as well, such as Angela Merkel, it seems we are witnessing a seismic shift for women to accede to high-level positions in politics and society.
“I have always supported women’s rights. I moved the admission of women to my college, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. The results were wholly good.”
Professor Hawking also said that he would continue to vote Labour, even though he did not believe the party could win under Jeremy Corbyn. Earlier this month, Prof Hawking branded Mr Corbyn a ‘disaster’ who should resign.
Watch | Stephen Hawking: Labour cannot win election under Corbyn
“I don’t believe there will be much chance of Labour winning an election under him,” he said.
“He doesn’t come across as a strong leader, and he allowed the media to portray him as a left-wing extremist, which he’s not. It’s no good having the right principles if you never get in power. But I will continue to vote Labour, it’s the party that matters.”
On the meaning of life and happiness, Professor Hawking, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease aged 21, said: “My three children have brought me great joy. And I can tell you what will make me happy, to travel in space. I thought no one would take me but Richard Branson has offered me a seat on Virgin Galactic, and I said yes immediately.”
And when asked if he believed himself to be the world’s most intelligent human being, he replied : “I would never claim this. People who boast about their IQ are losers.”
And on whether he had worked out the mystery of true love since he had solved the mystery of life, Professor Hawking said: “Thankfully, this is beyond human reasoning. And should remain so.”
Watch | Stephen Hawking plans Virgin Galactic space trip