From Queen Elizabeth to Sanna Marin, young women in politics have always faced prejudice
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Two prime ministers meeting to discuss relations between their countries is standard practice in international politics. But New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern and Finland’s Sanna Marin had to defend a recent summit after a reporter asked whether they met because they are both young, female leaders.
As prime ministers, Ardern and Marin have indeed broken barriers in politics. But the prejudice demonstrated by this question has a long history. Young women have always faced scepticism about their experience and ability to rule.
This was even true of the late Queen Elizabeth II. Questioning 15 prime ministers in weekly private sessions for 70 years surely gave her insight into the challenges of government. But when she first took the throne, Winston Churchill thought she was “just a child” and too inexperienced for the role, according to historian Kate Williams. We have to wonder whether he would have said that about a 25-year-old king.
Click here to read the full article published by The Conversation on 22 December 2022.