Women and Adversity:
Prime Minister of New Zealand
It’s fascinating to learn about the women who are the leader of their nation. Currently, there are more than two dozen worldwide, and Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, is one of the youngest. She will turn 42 on July 26. New Zealand, with a population of nearly five million is comprised of two main islands in the southwestern section of the Pacific Ocean: the North Island and the South Island and more than 700 smaller islands.
Arden has another claim to fame by being the second woman in history to give birth while in office. (Benazir Bhutto gave birth to a daughter in 1990 when she was prime minister of Pakistan.) She was elected prime minister in 2017 and her daughter Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford was born in June 2018.
Ardern hasn’t married her partner, Clarke Gayford, a television host and stay-at-home dad. The couple had planned a January 2022 wedding until New Zealand experienced several cases of the Omicron variant. So far the couple haven’t rescheduled their wedding.
What should we know about Ardern?
- Born in 1980 in Hamilton, New Zealand
- Always interested in politics and joined the Labour Party, most say at age 17
- Earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and politics in 2001 from university of Waikato in Hamilton
- Raised a Mormon but left that church in 2005 because she supports gay rights and same-sex marriage, both of which the Mormon church opposes
- Elected to New Zealand’s Parliament in 2008 when she was 28, the youngest member at the time
- Became leader of the Labour Party in 2017 when its leader stepped down and named her to succeed him
- Became P.M. when a coalition government formed in late 2017
- Labeled the 2019 mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch during Friday prayer a terrorist attack. Dozens were injured; 51 were killed. She wore a hijab when she went to comfort the families of the victims.
- She banned the kinds of gun used in the attack and its modifications.
- Was re-elected P.M. in 2020 in a landslide
- Nearly 25 percent of New Zealand children live in poverty
- Maori, the original inhabitants of New Zealand, continue to have lower income, poor housing conditions and poorer health than other residents
- When the pandemic hit, she banned entry into the country to any foreigner coming from China and closed borders to non-citizens and non-residents. A judge later ruled these restrictions as unconstitutional.
- Her popularity plunged when the Delta variant hit New Zealand.
Read more about Ardern:
How Jacinda Ardern’s popularity bubble burst – The Global Herald
How did New Zealand become Covid-19 free? – BBC News
Covid-19 NZ: Jacinda Ardern isolating at home as partner Clarke Gayford infected | Stuff.co.nz
READERS: WHAT IS YOUR IMPRESSION OF JACINDA ARDERN? ESPECIALLY LIKE BECAUSE_______? DISLIKE BECAUSE_______? LET ME KNOW IN THE BOX BELOW.
You are so right!
The word ‘extraordinary’ comes to mind. An extraordinary young, successful talent finds herself in a burdensome position at a most extraordinary time. She faces challenges that seasoned politicians around the world are struggling to address.
I like her chances to have a brilliant career, but it is too early to make any definitive judgment.