Should Jacinda Ardern be facing questions about babies and family responsibilities?




It hasn't taken long for the issue of media double standards to be raised in the treatment of new Labour leader Jacinda Ardern because she's a woman.

A leadership expert says the new Labour leader should be celebrated for her achievements.
Source: Breakfast

Speaking to Hillary Barry on TVNZ1's Breakfast today, Ms Ardern was asked her opinion of the fairness of being questioned over how she might juggle having a family with her leadership role.

In particular, when her male political counterparts weren't typically asked the same questions.

"On that particular issue, I made a personal decision to be open about those issues and to talk about them because I saw women in all walks of life having to struggle with those same things, and I thought maybe there's some benefit to deciding that I was going to be open about it," Ms Ardern said.

However, while Ms Ardern said in the past she has been willing to be open and answer such questions, not every woman should have to be.

"But I will still question whether or not every woman should have that same experience," she said.

"I'm not going to sit back and leave some things unchallenged. I think there's a time and a place."

Interviewed earlier on TVNZ1's Breakfast, leadership expert Dale Clareburt was less diplomatic about the fairness of Ms Ardern being grilled over potential family responsibilities.

"Acknowledging that yes, you're welcome to ask those questions but that isn't actually the focus of her role, that isn't what it's about," she said.

"Her role to lead the country is about ideas and how she's going to do that. Not her personal life.

"Why are we still being asked these questions and why are we only being asked these questions? We can't ignore the fact that she is a woman."

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