Jacinda Ardern comforts a grieving nation with hugs and speedy reform

Jacinda Ardern comforts a grieving nation with hugs and speedy reform

It was just 10 months that Jacinda Ardern was labelled a “stupid little girl” in parliament. 

The comment, made by an MP whose identity was never discovered, highlighted some of the doubts and sexism that overshadowed her rise in October 2017 to become the youngest female head of government in the world.

The fact the 38-year-old went on to become only the second world leader in history to give birth while in office only strengthened the misgivings of some that she was a lightweight.

Any such belief that Ms Ardern might not be up to job has been banished in the aftermath of Friday’s massacre in Christchurch.

Moments after the atrocity, the Prime Minister didn’t shirk from using politically charged language.

“It is clear that this can only be described as a terrorist attack,” she said. Commenting on the gunman, she said: “You may have chosen us – but we utterly reject and condemn you.”

Addressing a nation still coming to terms with the atrocity, she said: “We were not chosen for this act of violence because we condone racism, because we are an enclave for extremism.

“We were chosen for the very fact that we are none of these things. Because we represent diversity, kindness, compassion, a home for those who share our values, refuge for those who need it. And those values, I can assure you, will not and cannot be shaken by this attack.”

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