New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern gives birth to baby girl


New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave birth to a baby girl in an Auckland hospital on Thursday, becoming only the second world leader to do so while in office.
It was the first child for the 37-year-old and her 40-year-old partner Clarke Gayford. “I’m sure we’re going through all of the emotions new parents go through, but at the same time feeling so grateful for all the kindness and best wishes from so many people. Thank you,” Ms. Ardern said. She added on Instagram that the baby was healthy and doing well. The charismatic Ms. Ardern follows the late Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 1990 as the only woman in recorded history to give birth while in power, but she downplayed the significance.
Winston Peters, Ms. Ardern’s deputy, is now acting prime minister while the latter takes six weeks maternity leave, although she will continue to be consulted on significant issues.
New Zealand Opposition leader Simon Bridges offered congratulations.
“Being parents is a joy and a privilege and we are sure your new arrival will fill your lives with all the happiness our children have ours,” he said.
Sexism row
Ms. Ardern, who refused to discuss plans for motherhood during the election campaign, waited until January to reveal on Facebook she had conceived and was going to be “prime minister and a mum”. Her plans for a family had sparked a sexism row during the election when a television host quizzed her on the issue, saying voters had a right to know before they cast their ballots.
She rejected the line of questioning as “unacceptable”, saying pregnancy and child-rearing should not hinder women’s opportunities in the workplace.
“It is a woman’s decision about when they choose to have children and it should not predetermine whether or not they are given a job or have job opportunities,” she said then.


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