New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her Finnish counterpart Sanna Marin As two of the youngest heads of government and among a small percentage of female leaders in the world, they face questions about age and gender.
But they were quick to shoot down a reporter who asked about the purpose of a Finnish prime minister’s first visit to New Zealand on Wednesday.
“A lot of people are going to ask if you two will get together just because you’re a similar age, and you have a lot in common there,” the journalist said during a joint press conference in Auckland.
Ardern, 42, was quick to cut back on the questioner.
“I wonder if anyone asked Barack Obama and John Key if they met because they were the same age,” she said, referring to the former prime ministers of the United States and New Zealand.
“We have, of course, a higher percentage of men in politics, it’s a fact. Because two women meet not only because of their gender.
Marin, 37, who is in New Zealand with a Finnish trade delegation, emphasized the country’s growing business ties.
“We are meeting because we are prime ministers,” she said in response.
She ends her Southern Hemisphere visit in Australia later this week.
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