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NZ Prime Minister fends off "feminist" question in BBC interview

PM Jacinda Adern was asked if she planned to propose to her partner because she was a ''feminist''.

By Anita Lyons
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is certainly paving the way for female powerhouses!
The 38-year-old was the second woman in the world to give birth while in office and is and the youngest person to have held the coveted leadership role in 150 years.
Which is why an interview with the BBC overnight is seriously raising some eyebrows.
Ms Ardern, who is currently on tour in Europe and the United Kingdom; had already met with Theresa May and Duchess Meghan Markle before she sat down with the British press.
Originally there to discuss topics such as Brexit and a free trade deal between the UK after they leave the European union, she was noticeably surprised when the interviewer, Victoria Derbyshire, turned to her personal life at the end of the chat.
"Can you imagine asking your partner, Clarke Gayford, to marry you?" Derbyshire asked.
"Or will you wait for him to ask?"
Genuinely surprised by the question, the mother-of-one responded by laughing out loud.
"No I would not ask, no," she said.
Persisting quite seriously, Victoria said: "You're a feminist..." to which the PM said, "Absolutely!"
"Absolutely, I'm a feminist. But no, I want to put him through the pain and torture of having to agonise about that question himself."
"No that's letting him off the hook! Absolutely not."
NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's initial response to the marriage question. (Source: BBC)
Even though Ms Ardern took the question on the chin, the Twittersphere have commented on the "horrible" and "distasteful" question.
"She's the PM of New Zealand," one user commented. "How is this a relevant question? No male leader would be asked this on a supposed news channel."
"Can't believe this question was asked. None of our business!!" another said.
While another commented on what "feminism" actually is: "And again.... people getting confused with what is feminism with what is perceived as a women/men stereotypical roles in society. Feminism is about equality, not 'sameness'."
New Zealand-based political commentator Bryce Edwards for The Guardian said the question was "actually very suprising".
"And the prime minister's reaction suggested that she was entirely surprised by it," he said. "Certainly a lot of New Zealanders would see such probing of the prime minister about her relationship with her partner and her plans for marriage as being inappropriate."
WATCH NEXT: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex meet NZ PM Jacinda Ardern
Before her next stop in Switzerland, Ms Ardern met with Duchess Meghan at Kensington Palace.
Markle welcomed her for the private meeting, where they discussed the Duke and Duchesses recent visit to New Zealand in October last year.
The two female leaders took the opportunity to reflect on the royal tour, with royal reporter Omid Scobie saying Meghan was "pleased to have the chance to thank the PM for the wonderful hospitality [she and Harry] received from the people of New Zealand last year."
After their initial meeting in October, Scobie provided some rare insight into what it was like for the Kiwi PM, saying she came away from meeting Meghan and Harry feeling "impressed".
"The Duke and Duchess are both very warm people... They really care about the work they do, they take their service seriously and I have a lot of respect for that," she told Scobie.
Ms Ardern and Duchess Meghan Markle in October. (Source: Getty)
During her first day in Switzerland, the PM spent the day at the World Economic forum, on a panel dealing with climate change alongside Sir David Attenborough.
She was also on the panel Safeguarding Our Planet, chaired by former US Vice President Al Gore.
Before that she had a day of meetings with the likes of Prince William, the Vice President of Peru Mercedes Araoz and the founder of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab.

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