If you did not know who Jacinda Ardern was until a few days ago, do not worry, not many of us knew. To be honest, some of us never took the time to see who the Prime Minister of New Zealand was until last month’s tragedy. We knew someone was in charge, but we did not know who until her name showed up everywhere as the Prime Minister who made it possible to ban semi-automatic assault rifles six days after the shooting in two mosques. Since then people have been talking about her – both to congratulate her and criticize her – and her face has been all over social media. But who is Jacinda Ardern? Here are a few things you should know about her and the kind of politician she is.
- She is the youngest leader the Labour Party has ever had.
- She is the youngest Prime Minister New Zealand has had in 150 years.
- She is the youngest female to become Prime Minister.
- Her ever growing figure in the media has earned the name Jacindamania.
- Andrew Burns, part of the Labour Party’s digital team, says her success comes from “her ability to communicate with people and talk in an open and honest way that [didn’t] sound like a traditional politician.”
- She is one of the 11 women in a leadership position out of 200 countries.
he is considered a progressive politician because of her views on economic inequality, climate change, abortion, and child poverty.
- She is the third female Prime Minister of New Zealand.
- In 2018, she gave birth, becoming the first woman as head of government to give birth while elected since Benazir Bhutto.
- She still remains a preferred leader in the polls chosen by her citizens.
- She encourages a government that listens to its people by having public inquiries travel around the country for public consultations.
- Her goal is to make politics kinder and more empathic.
- She, as many others, suffers from anxiety (something so important to remark for people who struggle: you can have anxiety and still succeed).
We found ourselves in a time and age in which women like Jacinda Ardern are so important. We need positive examples of women who balance their work, their motherhood, and their mental health; women who are not afraid to stand up, speak up and defend the things and the values they believe in; women who grow stronger when they are criticized; women who take an attack on their country and immediately work to prevent events like that from happening again; women who show it is possible to be a woman in a leadership role. Ardern is one of those women, breaking through the glass ceiling and proving we are both strong and capable.
If you want to learn more about the work she is doing, you can follow her on Instagram and Twitter. You can also read Jacinda Ardern: Prime Minister of New Zealand by Cynthia Kennedy Henzel and Womankind: New Zealand Women Making a Difference by Margie Thomson and Simon Young.
Read about Jacinda Ardern. Feel inspired by her story to always fight for what you believe in. Do not be afraid to talk about your mental health. Stand up for the values that motivate you. Remember you can be a mother and have the career you have always wanted. No matter your gender or the gender roles society has imposed on you, you are capable of changing the world around you. Ardern put it very simply: “That means I have the power to change things, too. It just depends whether you want to take that as a weight of responsibility or just the opportunity of a lifetime.” What will your opportunity of a lifetime be?
Lara was born in Argentina on Christmas; raised there and in Mexico. She graduated university with a BA in Latin American Literature and then moved to America where she currently lives with her girlfriend and cat. She works at a daycare as an Infant Teacher and during her free time you’ll find her reading or watching several TV shows while drinking diet coke.