PM’s pregnancy to ‘smash gender boundaries’

Ardern and partner will be great role models for working mums and stay-at-home dads, says the human rights commissioner

PM’s pregnancy to ‘smash gender boundaries’
s of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s pregnancy has brought to light gender boundaries and women’s choice of raising a family while building a career.

The 37-year-old Ardern announced this week that her first child with partner Clarke Gayford would be due in June.

She would take a six-week break after the baby’s birth, she said, but after that Gayford would become the primary caregiver as she resumes government duty, NZ Herald reported.

Human Rights Commissioner Jackie Blue said Ardern would be able to do both roles confidently and easily and the couple would be fantastic role models for working mums and stay-at-home dads around New Zealand.

Blue hoped the sharing of childcare and work responsibilities became the norm for Kiwi families as this would help gender equality and smash the pay gap.

"When men take on more responsibility it means women won't lose ground with their career," Blue said.

Blue said that after the 26-week paid parental leave came into force, she wanted to see men get paid parental leave in their own right, to help them stay at home and bond with their baby.

Ardern said she and her partner “are privileged to be in the position where Clarke can stay home to be our primary caregiver. Knowing that so many parents juggle the care of their new babies, we consider ourselves to be very lucky."

“I am not the first woman to multi-task. I am not the first woman to work and have a baby
There are many women who have done this before,” the prime minister said.

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark congratulated Ardern via Twitter and said “every woman should have the choice of combining family and career.”

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