Jacinda Ardern became one of the most powerful politicians in New Zealand on Tuesday. After her party’s leader resigned, Arden jumped in as the leader of New Zealand’s Labour Party. Ardern is undoubtedly qualified — she was her predecessor Andrew Little’s deputy and was the youngest woman in Parliament when she was elected in 2008 at age of 28. But just days into the job, Ardern didn’t just face questions about her political plans or goals; she was asked about wanting to be a mother. Twice.
On Tuesday night, Ardern went on the radio show “The Project.” After admitting that his question was controversial, one of the male hosts, Jesse Mulligan, asked her, "A lot of women in New Zealand feel they have to make a choice between having babies and having a career... Is that a choice that you feel you have to make or already made?"
Ardern handled the question with complete grace. "My position is no different to the woman who works three jobs, or who might be in a position where they're juggling lots of responsibilities," she said. "You've just got to take every day as it comes and see if you can make the best of the lot you're given."
The next day, Ardern appeared on the morning show “AM Show.” She took a much firmer stance on the question on Wednesday, saying "It is a woman's decision about when they choose to have children. It should not predetermine whether they should have a job or be given job opportunities."
The Twittersphere agreed with Ardern’s strong language. They were quick to point out the utter nonsense of asking a woman about her choice to have children.
Besides, Ardern has more important things to deal with than answering questions about reproduction. Her party hasn’t been in power since 2008, but she wants to change that. New Zealand’s general election is September 23, and Ardern plans to run a “relentlessly optimistic” campaign.