Current Affairs

Jacinda Ardern named in Time Magazine's 100 most influential people list

She's not just leading a country. She's changing the game. And women and girls around the world will be the better for it.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has made Time Magazine's list of the year's 100 most influential people.

She joins Donald Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Oprah Winfrey, Australian actors Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman and royals Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Others to appear on the list are Jimmy Kimmel, Roseanne Barr and Chadwick Boseman from the film Black Panther.

Time describes its list as not a measure of power or past achievements but a gauge of "individuals whose time, in our estimation, is now".

It asked other high-powered people to write brief stories about the top 100.

Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg wrote Jacinda Ardern's profile - saying "in a world that too often tells women to stay small, keep quiet - and that we can't have both motherhood and a career - Jacinda Ardern proves how wrong and outdated those notions of womanhood are".

"She's not just leading a country. She's changing the game. And women and girls around the world will be the better for it," she wrote.

Sandberg pointed out, "Just 11 countries out of almost 200 are led by a woman. Let that number sink in. That's how hard it is for a woman to rise to lead a nation."

Sandberg said Ardern had already been "a political prodigy" when she became Prime Minister of New Zealand.

"In 2008, she was elected the youngest member of the New Zealand Parliament. Now she's the youngest female Prime Minister in the world. At a time when conservative politicians are ascendant across Europe and the U.S., she's proudly progressive — with a raft of plans to fight economic inequality, address climate change and decriminalize abortion."

Sandberg described Ardern's rise to her role as PM as a "wave of 'Jacindamania' that swept the land".

Ardern, who this week met with the Queen, British PM Theresa May and other influential Commonwealth leaders, also wrote a profile; hers was on Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau. She wrote:

"There will be a few names globally that will become etched in our history books. They will be the names that mark the shift in our political landscape, when younger politicians took the reins and heralded a different type of politics. Justin Trudeau will be one of them. Youth alone is not remarkable, but winning over people with a message of hope and warmth, tolerance and inclusion, when other politicians the world over choose an easier route — that is remarkable."

She could almost be writing about herself.

Via Radio NZ and Now To Love