The Hush Post: The 37-year-old New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden is set to be one of the rare leaders to give birth while in office as she announced the arrival of her first baby expected in June. Ardern was all smiles as she appeared with partner Clarke Gayford to announce the “unexpected but exciting” news. Ardern’s plans for a family had sparked a sexism row during elections in last year when a television host quizzed her on the issue, saying voters had a right to know before they cast their ballots. She had then also said that pregnancy and child rearing should not hinder women’s opportunities in the workplace.
Late Pakistani premier Benazir Bhutto had become the first head of government to have given birth during her term in 1990. Arden saw a rapid rise to the top ranks of politics, winning office in October last year, just months after taking reins of the centre-left Labour Party.
“We thought 2017 was a big year!” she tweeted. “This year we’ll join the many parents who wear two hats. I’ll be PM and a mum while Clarke will be ‘first man of fishing’ and stay at home dad.”
Ardern said she would take six weeks off after the birth of her child, with maverick Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters taking the reins of office. She said she aimed to be “contactable and available” during the period and would resume all leadership duties when it was over, she told AFP.