“Be Kind and Be Strong”: Jacinda Ardern, the leader who made kindness a style and became an icon of feminism

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“A leader must know when to leave”. Faithful to her direct but kind style, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, thus announced her surprise resignation and the (momentary) interruption of a brilliant career that made her a point of reference in the Progressivism and feminism in world politicsl, after his early arrival at the forefront of politics at the age of 37.

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“You can be kind and strong, and also be the kind of leader who knows when it’s time to go,” Ardern said, visibly excited on Thursday, after announcing that he will leave his post on February 7just months before the country holds elections on October 14.

Acknowledging, in the fresh style that has raised the country’s profile by five million in the global arena, that “has no energy” for another termthe policy leaves after a few years of considerable attrition and waning popular support.

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Work is losing momentum, according to the latest polls, at the end of a legislature marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, the rising cost of living and a possible recession in 2023.

Although in October 2020 he succeeded in reconfirming his mandate and in single-governing Labor, something no party had achieved since the 1996 electoral reform, the second term seems to have taken the upper hand on 42-year-old Ardern.

His Mormon past

Born July 26, 1980 in Hamilton, New Zealand’s North Island, Ardern grew up in the towns of Morrinsville and Murupara in a humble environmentdaughter of a police officer and former member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (a Mormon temple).

A devout Mormon in her childhood and adolescence, Ardern said in an interview in 2017 that she gave up her faith because of the Church’s condemnatory stance on the LGTBI community sharing a flat with three gay friends and, years later, would vote for equal marriage in Parliament in 2013.

After joining the Labor Party at 17 and immediately emerge in the youth of education, he graduated in Communications from the University of Waitako.

The youngest leader in the world

Ardern eventually became New Zealand’s youngest MP in 2008 after a stint abroad which prevented her from working in a New York popular cuisine making meatballs being part of a team of advisers in London to then British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

In August 2017 it happened to Andrew Littler as head of Labour, after the party relied on her to lead the party to victory in the September election of that year.

A triumph that made her break another record, becoming then, at 37, a the youngest leader in the world.

His litmus test came shortly after, on March 15, 2019, when an Australian white supremacist killed 51 people during an assault on two mosques in the city of Christchurch, in what was the worst terrorist attack in the country’s history.

Ardern immediately announced a reform of the gun ownership law, showed empathy by wearing the Islamic headscarf and turned the pain of the Muslim minority into that of the entire country by saying: “we are one, they are us”.

a feminist icon

During her first term in June 2018, Ardern had her first child with her partner, Clarke Gayford, making her the second female president to give birth during her rule after the late Benazir Bhutto (1953-2007), Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Ardern has tried to normalize her role as mother and leader with iconic decisions like brings the little girl to the General Assembly as a baby of the UN in New York in 2018, an image that went around the world, being the first time that a leader did so.

Most recently, during a November visit by her Finnish counterpart, Sanna Marin, Ardern reacted promptly when asked if they would meet because they “have a lot in common” by asking if the former US president had been asked the same thing Barack Obama and former New Zealand leader John Key when they met in the past.

Source: Clarin

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