New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern resigns

Zahra Khan, World/Business Editor

Jacinda Arden previously made a shocking announcement as she announced to the public her retirement 10 months early. Ardern was said to have made the announcement with tears in her eyes, at the annual caucus meeting. Ardern specified she can’t complete her term past the February 7 mark, despite being  set to run for a third term. 

According to the NY Post, Ardern announced “I know what this job takes. And I know I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice. It’s that simple.” 

While many are saddened by the news, Ardern’s prioritization of mental health can be viewed as a mark of strength. Being a female in politics is commendable in itself. Amongst the many challenges Ardern faced during her terms, the media coverage was a defining moment. According to theconversation, “men tend to receive less media coverage about their personal lives.” Throughout her terms, Ardern was consistently asked about her marriage or personal family life. Theconversation noted this kind of media coverage indicates a high level of sexist questioning in New Zealand, thus, this kind of questioning “must be happening in all other places where women are facing political violence, for example.” 

What some media coverage failed to report, however, was Ardern’s impact on New Zealand. According to theguardian, Arden was the world’s youngest female prime minister as she was elected when she was just 37 years old. Despite the challenge all world leaders faced of navigating their respective countries throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Ardern has led the country through many “disasters including the two terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, and the White Island volcanic eruption.” 

Of course, being a prominent political figure in the world comes with a plethora of challenges. According to theguardian, Ardern faced a series of death threats, and violent threats in general. These threats traced back to various conspiracy theorists as well as anti-vaccine groups. Many of the threats came from frustrations of some of the nation’s covid policies such as the country’s vaccine mandates and lockdowns. Ardern specified despite the increasing amount of constant backlash, this was not the reason for her retirement announcement. According to the Guardian, Ardern claimed “I don’t want to leave the impression that the adversity you face in politics is the reason that people exit.” Ardern closed off her announcement by saying she’s looking forward to attending to her personal life, and is thankful for her time as prime minister.