The two said they discussed their countries’ response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and their concerns about the crackdown on protesters in Iran. They highlighted their countries’ shared values, including a “multilateral and rules-based international order,” Ardern said, while Marin noted that “Finland and New Zealand are among the oldest democracies in the world.” “
But one reporter zoomed in on what he thought was the most important thing Ardern, 42, and Marin, 37, had in common. “A lot of people will be wondering: ‘Are you two dating just because you’re the same age and have a lot in common – when you got into politics and stuff – or are the Kiwis really yours?’ Can we expect to see more deals between our two countries on the line? asked a reporter from New Zealand radio station Newstalk ZB.
Ardern, looking slightly incredulous, replied: “I wonder if anyone ever asked Barack Obama and John Key if they were the same age,” referring to the former New Zealand prime minister who ex was born five days after the US president. .
“Of course we have a higher proportion of men in politics, that’s a fact. Because two women meet, it’s not just because of their gender,” Ardern said. Shen then described trade relations and economic opportunities between the two countries, adding: “Regardless of our gender, it is our job to push it forward.”
New Zealand Parliament Becomes Majority Women – ‘Bliman’ About Time’
Meanwhile, Marin laughed and said: “We’re meeting because we’re prime ministers, of course … we have a lot of things in common, but there’s also a lot of things where we can do a lot together.” She added that, in particular, she wanted to reduce her country’s dependence on “authoritarian countries” for technology and natural resources.
The question about age and gender drew criticism in local media outlets, where it was described as “very subtle sexism” and “casual sexism”. The Guardian, meanwhile, soon ran a video titled: “Jacinda Ardern has repeatedly faced sexual questions from journalists.”
Both leaders have dealt with an unusual amount of questions in the past focusing on their age and gender.
When Ardern became prime minister in 2017, reporters focused her questions on whether she planned to have children or take maternity leave. After her pregnancy was announced in 2018, a reporter also focused on her appearance and asked when she had conceived the child – a line from questioning viewers criticized as “creepy”. Targeted.
Women dance in solidarity with Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin.
Meanwhile, Marin came under fire from political opponents after videos emerged of the Finnish leader partying with friends at a private event. Critics called him unprofessional – even as others rallied to his support and likened him to old men playing golf.
Women are underrepresented in politics, with only 28 countries represented by elected women leaders, according to UN Women figures from September. “At the current rate, gender equality in the highest positions of power will not be reached for another 130 years,” the UN organization added.
In what may be a sign of the rarity of seeing two female world leaders on stage together, many questions from other reporters at Wednesday’s news conference also focused on Ardern and Marin’s gender.
Reporters asked if she had considered being a role model for other women, whether young female leaders had to work harder to avoid criticism of their personal lives, and Marin in the New Zealand press in Finland. How does it feel to be described as the “Party Prime Minister”? .
“It’s great that we have an independent media, that we have a critical eye on politicians,” Marn said. However, she added, “I also want to show an example, that different types of people can be politicians. … I think it’s very important that we can show even the youngest generations that you can be yourself.” Can be and still engage in politics.