Is it officially right to address Lynda Babao, the wife of Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Peter O’Neil as First Lady?
This question tends to pop up frequently in social and print media as well as in every day shy office whispers and acclaimed betelnut speeches on the city streets . The EL explores the issue and establishes the reason why it is not right for Papua New Guineans to officially address wife of PNG prime ministers as first lady.
First and foremost, who is a First Lady?
To ensure that we get the definition correct, we visited the popular Wikipedia website.
First Lady definition according to Wikipedia is”
“An unofficial title used for wife or hostes of a male non-monarchical head of state or chief executive.
“Woman seen to be on top of her profession or art”
Several online sources we checked also gave related definitions;
3. http://www.free dictionary.com
4. dictionary.cambridge. org
So is it Right or Wrong to address a wife of a PNG prime minister as First Lady?
In so far as the above definitions state, it is not formally appropriate to address a wife of a PNG prime minister using the title First Lady.
Wikipedia clears the air out further;
“The title is NOT normally used for wife of a head of state government who is NOT also a head of state.
“It is sometimes employed for wife of a prime minister” which the site argues is an incorrect usage for the fact that prime ministers do not precede the head of state.
What other countries apart from USA use the title First Lady?
There are other countries outside USA that also use the title First Lady. Link below gives a list of the countris and their first ladies. Unfortunately, Lynda Babao and PNG is not one of them.
New Zealand Case
New Zeland (NZ) presents a similar case to PNG. In NZ, the title First Lady is not used officially, but is often used in press colloquially to refer to a wife of the prime minister.
Out of respect, some Papua New Guineans including the most notable offices and their officers used the title.
For example in October, 22, 2014, government website http://www.pm.gov.pg published on it’s website a Media Released titled: ‘First Lady To Speaks At CURE Fundraising’.
Even the site PNG Tribe (png tribe. org) ran an article on December 3, 2014 titled ‘First Lady of Papua New Guinea Visits Montrose’.
THE DENVER POST ran an article on November 12, 2014 titled ‘Lynda Babao O’Neil, first lady of Papua New Guinean, Speaks At Denver’.
Now that you got the fact right, use the right title for the wife of our curent prime minispter and those who will come in the future.
What is your opinion? Let us know by commenting below.