The question was disconcerting.
Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, received her Finnish counterpart, Sanna Marin, this week for an unprecedented visit to the country.
On Wednesday, November 30, during a press conference organized in Auckland focusing in particular on the themes of defense and climate policy, the two leaders however had to deal with an inappropriate question from a journalist, Joey Dwyer, reporter for the New Zealand radio station Newstalk ZB.
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"A lot of people are going to wonder if you two met just because you're the same age and have a lot in common, like the year you entered politics, or if we can expect to see more. agreements between our two countries in the future", he declared before the two Prime Ministers.
An intervention in the face of which Jacinda Ardern (42) could not hide her dismay, betrayed by a grin and a frown.
"I wonder if anyone has ever asked Barack Obama and John Key if they had met because they were the same age," the latter hastened to reply (
John Key having been Prime Minister of New Zealand from 2008 to 2016, Ed
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And to continue: "There is, of course, a greater proportion of men in politics - it is the reality - but if two women meet, it is not simply because of their gender".
Jacinda Ardern quickly refocused the debate on the reasons for this interview, recalling the common points between New Zealand and Finland, including their "strong commitment" for Ukraine, in conflict with Russia since last February, but also for Iranian women since the protest movements in the country.
And Sanna Marin added: “We meet precisely because we are Prime Ministers”.
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The one who became head of the Finnish government in 2019, has already come up against the sexism that is rampant in politics.
The 37-year-old leader has also been abused for several months.
In question, the leak of photos and videos showing her singing and dancing during a festive evening.
Images that had given rise to rumors of alleged drug use.
In mid-August, she was then forced to organize a press conference to defend herself.
"I didn't do anything illegal," she repeated, tears in her eyes.
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Faced with numerous complaints and to dispel all suspicion, Sanna Marin had even gone so far as to carry out a drug test.
Would she have been vilified so much if she had been a man?
A rhetorical question for the one who had simply split these few words: "I want to believe that people will look at what we have done in our work rather than what we do in our free time".