Jan 13, 2021

Why New Zealand's Prime Minister is One of The Most Powerful Women in Politics

Kristin Kerr

e’ve touched on the list of the 50 Most Popular Women, which contained a lengthy list of inspirational and uplifting women, but when it comes to the precarious nature of some women’s political power around the globe - that’s a whole different topic. 2020 made its mark in history and at times it really did feel like our world was on a slow down. The slowdown, however, didn’t stop New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern from creating an outsizing impact on the world as she continued to address the most pressing health and social issue of our time though. Time after time, Jacinda Ardern has been named the most eloquent of global leaders, being constantly praised for her empathy and soft touch. So what is it that makes Jacinda Ardern one of the most powerful women in politics? Let’s take a closer look.

At just 37 years old in 2017, Jacinda became the youngest leader of the Labour Party in its history. Adding to this, she is also the youngest female Prime Minister New Zealand has ever had, and the second world leader to give birth while in office. She’s often praised for being one of the most powerful women in Politics due to her optimism, common sense, approachability, and empathy. 

Her Approach to Covid-19 

Most recently, with a global pandemic affecting our entire world, Jacinda’s strong leadership and extreme authenticity throughout all of 2020 allowed her to become New Zealand’s most popular leader in the last hundred years. Since being elected in 2017, Jacinda has always remained authentic; however, during the Covid-19 outbreak, it was this exact authenticity that helped the public feel calm and confident with her decisions as she remained consistent and concise about her strategy. She also never failed to be publicly honest about any concerns she had. 


Her Approach to Improve Women’s Rights

Another factor that led Jacinda Ardern to become one of the Most Powerful Women in Politics is her commitment to achieving gender equality. Since day one, Jacinda’s goal to achieve gender equality has been at the top of her list, and as the youngest female prime minister, it’s no doubt she’ll make this happen. Most recently, she announced that sanitary products will be free for young women in schools across the country in 2021, to help eradicate period poverty

“Poverty amongst children and young people doesn’t stop at things like food and housing, and we know that nearly 95,000 young people miss out on school and other activities during their periods because they can’t afford products. That’s not right. And that’s why as part of this year’s Budget we’re funding a new program that will provide free period products to schools.”

Her Approach to Motherhood

The list wouldn’t be complete without touching on Jacinda’s gentle and inspiring approach to how she perceives motherhood should be - another reason she’s considered one of the most powerful women in politics. Not only was she the first woman to give birth while in office - but she’s also the first leader to go on maternity leave while in office, even if it was only for a mere six weeks. When Jacinda was asked by a television host what she would choose between having a family of pursuing a successful career, she replied:

“That is totally unacceptable in 2017 to say that women should have to answer that question in the workplace.”

With only 5% of the world’s leaders being women, Jacinda shines each and every day, continuing to ignite and inspire her own country, and others. Her empathetic leadership style proves stronger by the day and she challenges the common perception that emotional communication shows weakness, instead choosing to approach the public with a softer touch. 

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