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Wellington East students “empowered by big vision” of Jacinda Adern

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Two students at Wellington East Girls College have been quoted in a New York Times report about Jacinda Adern becoming Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Charlotte Graham’s report is headlined “New Zealand’s sudden star gets set to govern.” She writes:

The morning after [Jacinda Adern’s] ascension, at a girls’ high school not far away from Parliament, final-year students were buzzing at the prospect.

Mia Faiumu, 18, and Narjis al-Zaidi, 17, two leaders of the feminist club at the school, Wellington East Girls’ College, hoped Ms. Ardern would improve the national curriculum for sex and consent education as well as decriminalize abortion, as she had promised (abortion is permissible in New Zealand with a doctor’s approval but remains illegal).

“She understands what it’s like to be a young woman today,” said Ms. Faiumu, who voted for Labour in this, her first, election. Before Ms. Ardern’s rise to leader, she said, her vote would have gone to the further-left Green Party, which will support Labour to pass its laws.

But she had been “hooked in by Jacindamania,” she said, using the term coined by the news media to describe the new leader’s ardent fans.

“Anyone who is marginalized would know that New Zealand isn’t the most progressive country if you’re not well-off or a man,” Ms. al-Zaidi said, adding that she thought Ms. Ardern would change that.

The young women enthused about Ms. Ardern’s “big vision,” saying they felt empowered by her win in spite of critics’ saying she could not deliver on such bold ideas.

Read the full New York Times report here.

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