Jacinda Ardern Gives the World a Lesson in Humility


Jacinda Ardern announced her decision to step down as Prime Minister of New Zealand in a show of modesty.

“I gave everything I could to be prime minister but it also took a lot away from me,” he said on Thursday. “You can’t and shouldn’t do the job without a full tank, plus a little reserve for the unplanned and unexpected challenges that are bound to happen.”

Here was a highly respected person – at home and on the world stage – and a wise female politician who left her high office in her own words. The event was met with shock all over the world.

He will lose and his decision should be respected. It highlights the challenges of achieving diversity in politics and business. It’s not just about getting women there, it’s about keeping them. We want politicians like Ardern to endure because they are the kind who change the narrative.

Ardern and a group of young female leaders — including Finland’s prime minister Sanna Marin and Denmark’s Mette Frederiksen — who have emerged in the past decade as a counterweight to rigid, attention-seeking, dim-witted male leaders riding the populist wave . They show us that the nation is not only strong and bold, but also compassionate and humorous. You can be a smart and compassionate politician, laughing along the way.

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Politics is still a tough field for women. Australia’s first female prime minister, Julia Gillard, endured a series of attacks in parliament and in the media that led to her now famous October 2012 speech that went viral.

Ardern’s decision to step down also shows that women are still separated from their political ambitions and their personal lives. In 2018, she became the first female prime minister born in Pakistan since the death of Benazir Bhutto. Tanya Plibersek, then deputy leader of the Australian Labor Party, decided in 2019 that she would not run for the top job because she could not “reconcile” her family responsibilities with being the leader of his party. Another federal member of parliament, Kate Ellis, is stepping down from politics in the 2019 election to spend more time with her children.

Recently, sentiment has turned against Ardern and she has suffered in the polls. He faced a rise in personal threats that became more visible and violent as anti-vaccination and anti-vaccination groups, angered by the handling of the epidemic, went on the offensive.

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Ardern achieved rock star status after becoming the world’s youngest female leader at the age of 37. She was able to appear on the cover of Vogue and change the tone, manage crises, and make world leaders listen and listen. Ardern has faced her share of scathing questions from the media — just last month she and Finland’s Marin had to rebuke a reporter who suggested the two world leaders were just meeting being a teenager — but handled the situation with determination.

He changed gun laws after mass shootings at two mosques in the South Island city of Christchurch in March 2019 killed 51 people. one off the coast of New Zealand in December 2019, killing 22. The pandemic tested his mettle, but he was credited with keeping the virus under one of the world’s strictest lockdowns.

When it comes to the country’s Indigenous people, Ardern’s brand of governance is on display again. He appointed Maori woman Nanaia Mahuta to the high-profile portfolio of foreign affairs minister as her party vowed to introduce Māori language into its school curriculum by next year. 2025.

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Ardern was less upset. But it’s a testament to his character that he can rise above the rigors and turmoil of politics and be a good sport. A signed copy of Ardern insulting an opposition leader (she later apologized in a text message) sold for more than NZ$100,000 ($64,000) to raise money for charity.

Just like former number one tennis star Ashleigh Barty’s decision to retire from tennis, I suspect that our lack of interest in tennis has more to do with wanting a model that everyone in the world can be proud of. Ardern’s statement. They are strong, capable, solemn, but also show grace under pressure. Now the world needs them more than ever.

More from Bloomberg Opinion:

• Fig-Leaf Feminism Maintains C-Suite Parity: Andreea Papuc

• It’s Still the Age of Women in American Politics: David Hopkins

• Sandberg’s ‘Lean In’ legacy: Sarah Green Carmichael

This column does not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Andreea Papuc is a Bloomberg Opinion editor.

More stories like this are available at bloomberg.com/opinion


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