News World
  • Facebook
    Facebook
  • Twitter
    Twitter
  • Pinterest
    Pinterest
  • +
  • Linkedin
    Linkedin
  • WhatsApp
    WhatsApp
  • Email
    Email
SHARE THIS
  • Facebook
    Facebook
  • Twitter
    Twitter
  • Pinterest
    Pinterest
  • Linkedin
    Linkedin
  • WhatsApp
    WhatsApp
  • Email
    Email

Friday morning, Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford announced that the couple are expecting their first child in June. Ardern said that she would be taking six weeks off after the birth, during which time the deputy Prime Minister would assume her responsibilities. After that period, Ardern will return to her duties as Prime Minister while Gayford takes on the role of stay-at-home dad. You know, like lots of families do.

“Obviously I take very seriously the role of becoming a mum, as does Clarke becoming a dad,” Ardern told reporters outside her residence while dad-to-be looked on, beaming. “But we equally take seriously the role that I have taken on as Prime Minister of New Zealand.”

“When possible, Clarke will be travelling with me a lot,” she continued. “We also recognize that we are very lucky and very privileged that we are in [this] position. Like so many parents, we will be juggling roles, but we are privileged and lucky that Clarke will be able to do the job full-time.”

During her campaign for PM last August, Ardern made worldwide headlines for her answers to sexist questions about whether she was planning on having kids soon and how that would effect her ability to lead the country. At the time, she let reporters and radio DJs alike know that the line of questioning was totally inappropriate and would never be asked of a male politician. Now, she continues to be adamant that she can be both the Prime Minister and a mom. And why shouldn’t she?

“I am not the first woman to multitask,” Ardern said, “I am not the first woman to work and have a baby. I know these are special circumstances but there are many women in the world who have done this well before I have. I acknowledge those women. I am about to sympathize with them a lot and I sympathize with all women who have suffered morning sickness.”

“We are going to make this work and New Zealand is going to help us raise our first child,” Ardern said.

Ardern is right that she is not the first woman to work and have a baby — women have been doing it since the beginning of time — but she is just the second woman to do it while filling the office of Prime Minister. In 1990, Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan gave birth to her second child while in office and her older son was born a month before the election that put her there. Yeah, women can do anything.

Ardern told reporters that the pregnancy was “100 per cent a surprise” and that she and Gayford had been to specialists before about trouble with conceiving. This revelation sheds a little light on just how personal those questions while campaigning must have felt for Ardern. At the time, she talked about the insensitivity they showed to women who may have had difficulties with pregnancy.

There was huge support and congratulations from the world at large, including the former New Zealand PM (who will now be referred to as “Aunty Helen”) and our own Trudeau.