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‘Wonder if Obama…’: New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern counters reporter’s sexist question

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was answering questions in a joint press conference with Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin.

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern responded to a sexist question Wednesday while addressing questions during a joint press conference with her Finnish counterpart Sanna Marin, who was on a diplomatic visit.

Ardern’s response came after a reporter asked if the two women are meeting just because they are close in age. Marin is 37 and Ardern is 42.

Elaborating on his question, the reporter said, “A lot of people will be wondering, are you two meeting just because you’re similar in age and, you know, got a lot of common stuff there…Or can Kiwi’s actually expect to see more deals down the line between the two countries…”.

However, before he could finish his question, Ardern interrupted and said, “My first question is I wonder whether or not anyone ever asked Barack Obama and John Key and if they met because they were of similar age. We, of course, have a higher proportion of men in politics. It’s a reality. But just because two women meet, it’s not simply because of their gender.”

She then went on to elaborate the multimillion-dollar exchanges that both countries have between them and added that they will be discussing things such as the Free trade Agreement provisions because “it’s our job to further it regardless of our gender”.

After Ardern’s answer, Marin added, “We are meeting because we’re prime ministers”. She then said this time both countries aim to focus on reducing their dependency on natural resources and technology from authoritarian regimes such as Russia.

The way Ardern and Marin addressed the sexist overtones of the question has impressed netizens. A clip of their press conference has gone viral with 2.8 million views.

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Commenting on this video, a Twitter user wrote, “Classy answers to an incredibly idiotic question”. Another person remarked, “I love this. How to answer misogyny with style”.

First published on: 01-12-2022 at 13:37 IST
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