New Zealand Premier Jacinda Ardern and her companion Clarke Gayford announce to the press that they are expecting their first child January 19th in Auckland
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who came to power after an election campaign marked by a sexist quarrel over her maternity intentions, announced Friday that she was pregnant with her first child.
The birth is expected in June, said Mrs. Ardern, 37 years old.
The Labor leader, who took the oath in October, made headlines in the international press by refusing to answer questions about her maternity intentions. This must not have any effect on the career of women, she had hammered.
Mrs. Ardern appeared all smiles with her partner Clarke Gayford on the front steps of their home to announce the news „unexpected but exciting“.
„We’re really happy together, we wanted to start a family but we were not sure it would happen,“ she said in a statement.
The charismatic Prime Minister came to power just months after taking over the Labor Party. It was carried by an impressive wave of sympathy called „Jacinda-mania“ by the media, which had earned him to be compared to French Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Justin Trudeau.
„We thought 2017 was a great year!“ She exclaimed on Twitter. „This year, we are going to join the many parents who wear two hats, I will be Prime Minister and Mother while Clarke will be the # 1 angler + and a homemaker“.
Mrs. Ardern added that she would take six weeks off after birth, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, a populist maverick, taking charge of current affairs.
It will remain „reachable and available“ at any time and will resume all its functions at the end of this leave.
Mrs. Ardern did not reveal the sex of her baby.
– Better than the election –
„Clarke and I have always been clear about our desire to be parents, but we have been told that we need help, which makes this news a fantastic surprise!“ did she say.
And to post on Twitter the picture of two hooks with a smaller hook, referring to the career of his spouse, presenter of a television program on fishing.
Mrs. Ardern was found during the campaign in the middle of a sexist quarrel, bombarded with questions about the consequences of a possible maternity by a journalist stating that the voters had the right to know.
„It is totally unacceptable to say in 2017 that women must answer this question,“ she said. „The timing of having children belongs to women, it should not determine whether or not to get a job“.
Mr. Ardern will not be the first head of government to have a child. Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto won the first by giving birth to a girl during her tenure in 1990.
But New Zealand, the first country to grant women the right to vote in 1893, is considered a pioneer in women’s rights, while Ms. Ardern is her third prime minister.
„I’m not the first woman to do many things at the same time,“ she said.
„There are a lot of women who opened the way little by little and allowed people to watch me exercise power and think + yes, she can do the job and be a mother.“
She received congratulations from Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. „When we spoke on the phone this morning, you looked happier than when you won the election!“ he told him.