Jacinda Ardern - 2018 Nominee
There are only 15 female world leaders currently in office in the world, eight of whom are their country’s first woman in power. While the number of current female leaders – excluding monarchs and figurehead leaders – has more than doubled since 2000, these women still represent fewer than 10% of 193 UN member states. Research has shown that women candidates have to prove they are qualified.
For men, their qualifications are assumed. Women face the double bind of needing to show competence and likeability. Voters will support a male candidate they do not like, but for women – this quality is non-negotiable. As more women run for office and are elected, voters question how women can serve constituents and take care of family responsibilities at the same time. Voters recognize a double standard for moms, but actively and consciously participate in it.
Prime Minister Ardern is not only a role model for women in politics, she is changing society and culture by making issues of motherhood and leadership normalized and using her experience to push for policies that create more health and productive families.