As two of the youngest heads of government and among a small percentage of women world leaders, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her Finnish counterpart Sanna Marin have long faced questions about their age and gender.
But they were quick to shoot down a reporter who asked about the purpose of a Finnish prime minister’s first-ever visit to New Zealand on Wednesday.
“A lot of people will wonder if you’re just meeting because you’re the same age and, you know, you have a lot in common there,” the reporter told a joint news conference in Auckland. .
Ardern, 42, was quick to interrupt the interrogator.
“I wonder if anyone ever asked Barack Obama and John Key if they met because they were the same age,” she said, referring to former US prime ministers. and New Zealand.
“We have, of course, a higher proportion of men in politics, that’s the reality. Because two women meet, it’s not just because of their sex.
Marin, 37, who is in New Zealand with a Finnish trade delegation, highlighted the country’s growing trade ties.
“We come together because we are prime ministers,” she replied.
She wraps up her visit to Australia’s southern hemisphere later this week.