In an image that summed up one of the darkest days in New Zealand’s history, Jacinda Ardern’s face spoke a thousand words – words that many were lost for. There was despair, there was sorrow, and there was a sense of overwhelming compassion.
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In that moment, the Prime Minister of New Zealand summed up an entire country’s grief as she visited members of the Muslim community following a tragic terrorist attack on a Christchurch mosque, which claimed the lives of at least 50 people.
But there was something else that couldn’t be mistaken in Jacinda’s face – strength, emotive in its form, but physically apparent as she felt the pain of four million other New Zealanders. It showed something special, and something undeniable – here was a leader who truly reflected the values of the nation she represents. That in itself, is worth celebrating.
Indeed ever since the 38-year-old took on role of Prime Minster in October 2017, she has proved time and time again why she is worthy holding such an influential position in the political landscape.
Jacinda has always been a passionate advocate for women’s rights. In fact, she famously made headlines for her staunch views when she told off a television host who said employers had a right to ask about a woman’s plans for children.
She was quick to shut him down, telling him: “It is a woman’s decision about when they choose to have children and it should not predetermine whether or not they have job opportunities.”
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Being the ultimate example in practising exactly what she preaches, Jacinda announced soon afterwards that she was pregnant with her first child with partner Clarke Gayford. And did that stop her from going on to become one of New Zealand’s most prominent, inspiring politicians? Absolutely not. And rightly so.
With a job description including, but by no means limited to attending various events, presenting stirring speeches, not to mention engaging in political debates with a view to helping an entire nation for the better, you’d barely believe the hard-working politician is also helping to raise a newborn baby. But for this brave brunette, it’s all in a days work.
So, to celebrate this female powerhouse, we’ve rounded up 10 of her most inspiring moments: