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Jacinda Ardern shuts down question about age and gender as NZ PM hosts Finland's Prime Minister

9Honey logo 9Honey 30/11/2022 Karishma Sarkari

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has shot down suggestions she is hosting Finland's Sanna Marin due to the women being of similar age.

Marin, 37, is the first ever Finnish prime minister to make the trip but during a press conference when asked if that's what they bonded over Ardern, 42, expertly responded to the notion.

"My first question is I wonder whether or not anyone ever asks Barack Obama and John Key if they met because they were of similar age," Ardern said, making reference to the former US and NZ leaders who are now both 61.

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Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin (left) and New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern (right) pose for a portrait at Government House on November 30, 2022 in Auckland, New Zealand. © Dave Rowland/Getty Images Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin (left) and New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern (right) pose for a portrait at Government House on November 30, 2022 in Auckland, New Zealand.

"We of course have a higher proportion of men in politics, it's reality [but] because two women meet, it's not simply because of their gender," she continued.

Marin, who is Finland's youngest-ever PM, responded to the question with a laugh, before saying: "We are meeting because we are prime ministers".

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Speaking to the significance of their gender in their positions as world leaders, Ardern added that they want to use their platforms to create significant change, referencing the plight of women in countries such as Iran.

"The focus of our conversation is what more we could do together in support of other women in other countries who are facing dire circumstances, where we see the most basic of human rights being repressed and violated," Ardern said.

Speaking to the significance of their gender in their positions as world leaders, Ardern added that they want to use their platform to create significant change © Dave Rowland/Getty Images Speaking to the significance of their gender in their positions as world leaders, Ardern added that they want to use their platform to create significant change

The pair also spoke about the war in Ukraine – a particularly problematic situation for Finland, which shares a long land border with Russia.

Marin tried to brush off questions about a leaked video on social media of her partying earlier this year, simply telling press: "So I had a couple of free days during the summer".

"If the media wants to focus on it, I don't have anything to say," Marin said.

"You are free to discuss and write what you want, but I'm focusing on the issues that are in our program."

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin speaking at a joint media conference with New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern on November 30, 2022 in Auckland, New Zealand. Marin is in New Zealand for a three-day visit, which comes after Ardern's government signed a free trade agreement with the European Union. © Dave Rowland/Getty Images Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin speaking at a joint media conference with New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern on November 30, 2022 in Auckland, New Zealand. Marin is in New Zealand for a three-day visit, which comes after Ardern's government signed a free trade agreement with the European Union.

Marin, who is being accompanied on the tour by a business delegation, is visiting Auckland to strengthen diplomatic relations and trade ties between the two countries.

While on this side of the globe, Marin will stop into Australia on Friday where she will be welcomed by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, again marking the first-ever visit from a Finnish PM to our shores.

The European leader will also deliver a speech at the Lowy Institute in Sydney on Friday.

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