The woman who has become the face of efficient management of the Covid-19 crisis surprised the world when she announced a few days ago that she would not seek re-election and that her resignation as prime minister would be effective from February.
The same qualities that made her a national star and a role model for all women running for public office are what prompted her to make this decision.
During her management of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, Jacinta Ardern has spoken openly to New Zealanders and taken tough, well-communicated measures that have caused frustration among many. The result was one of the lowest death rates in the world and the envy of many countries.
It is rumored that it has also drawn the ire of several anti-vaccine groups, who have continued to criticize the crisis since. For many New Zealand political experts, Ardern’s resignation could also be a boost for her party, as much of the discontent with management has been directed directly at her and not her political party.
Earlier, in an emotional speech, Ardern announced that she would not seek re-election and would retire after 5 years as Prime Minister. It is an adventure in politics, very much in his style. Ardern said she is tired and aware that her mental health condition does not allow her to hold office with the respect and responsibility it deserves.
This is a task that not many politicians of both sexes have dared to undertake. I know very well, having been a political activist since my youth, and the fractiousness of politics after campaigning for deputation.
I know that this exhaustion, combined with the triple role of Mexican women, where the burden of domestic, caring and community work falls primarily on us, is one reason why many women did not formally engage in politics before gender quotas. . To this day, it remains a major barrier to integrating women.
On the other hand, women in politics face special battles when it comes to holding office. In Mexico, we have fought to strengthen a framework to address gender-based political violence against women. It’s been tough, we need to build more consensus, have clearer rules, formalize sanctions, but we’re fighting for it.
In Ardern’s case, one of the things that has most affected her mental health is the constant battle against personal attacks by far-right groups.
According to a study presented by UNAM Gender Research and Studies, 18% of women who use the Internet in Mexico are victims of at least one digital aggression, the aggression being direct and related to sexual harassment, harassment or intimidation. hub.
Finally, I would emphasize the courage it takes to speak out about mental health issues while in public office. The stigma attached to mental health is terrible not only in Mexico but globally, and it is something that is doubly stigmatizing for people in politics.
Many women have broken this pact of silence that prevents them from creating real solutions to the problem, one of the most notable being gymnast Simone Biles, who decided to withdraw from the Olympics before risking her life over mental health issues. did. This may be one last part of his legacy: the spotlighting of mental health in politics.