JACINDA ARDERN

 
Jacinda Ardern.jpeg
 

by Tim Sullivan

Today’s fierce female is Jacinda Ardern.



Born in 1980, Jacinda was raised Mormon before renouncing her religion in 2005 due to their lack of support for gay rights. She was introduced to politics by her aunt, a veteran campaigner for the Labour Party. She became a senior leader of Young Labour at 17, and she was elected as a Member of the New Zealand Parliament in 2008.

Despite being the youngest member in Parliament, Jacinda was quickly promoted to the front bench, serving as the party’s spokesperson for Youth Affairs. When Labour Party leader Andrew Little resigned, she was unanimously confirmed as the new Leader of the Opposition that same day. Within months, the party’s poll numbers nearly doubled, and in the 2017 election, Jacinda led her party to victory, becoming New Zealand’s third Prime Minister.

Two months after the election, Jacinda announced that she and her partner were expecting - of marriage, Jacinda stated it was “just not something we've really gotten around to.” She became the first elected head of government to go on maternity leave, appointing an Acting Prime Minister for the six weeks after she gave birth.

Jacinda has inspired the world with her reaction to the Christchurch mosque shootings on March 15th. Denouncing the hate that inspired the attacks as having no place in the world, she has announced the government’s plans to ban the weapons used in the shootings and enact stricter gun control laws within the coming weeks.

At 38, she is currently the youngest head of government in the world.

“I never, ever grew up as a young woman believing that my gender would stand in the way of doing anything I wanted.”

“I want to be a good leader, not a good lady leader. I don't want to be known simply as the woman who gave birth.”

“One of the criticisms I've faced over the years is that I'm not aggressive enough or assertive enough, or maybe somehow, because I'm empathetic, it means I'm weak. I totally rebel against that. I refuse to believe that you cannot be both compassionate and strong.”

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