At the end of an institutional meeting between the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin, a journalist told them at a press conference: «Many people wonder if you two only met because you are of a similar age and… that is, you have many… i.e. things in common, about when you entered politics and other things”. Ardern kindly interrupted him and said:
I wonder if anyone ever asked Barack Obama and John Key if they met because they were the same age. Certainly in politics we have a higher percentage of men, it is the reality. But the fact that two women meet is not necessarily due to their gender.
(Ardern was referring to the meeting between former US President Obama and former New Zealand Prime Minister Key, who are the same age: they were both born in 1961 and within days of each other. Ardern and Marin have 42 and 37 years respectively).
Ardern then listed the various economic interests that link the two countries, explaining that the meeting was an opportunity to make better use of these economic opportunities in the future: “It is our job to promote them, regardless of our gender”.
Bad question! pic.twitter.com/2ytCaU4IWR
— antihobbes (@antihobbes) November 29, 2022
Marin also intervened immediately after, reiterating: “We meet because we are prime ministers.” Marin is her first official visit to New Zealand since she took office and is the first Finnish prime minister to make one.