New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her partner, Clarke Gayford welcomed their first child on Thursday. Ardern became the second world leader in modern history — and the first in nearly 30 years — to give birth while in office. In a post made to Instagram, Ardern, 37, wrote that she had given birth to a healthy baby girl weighing 7.3 pounds at 4:45 pm local time. According to CNN, Ardern’s baby also happens to share a birthday with the late former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who became the first world leader to have a baby while in office in 1990. Bhutto’s daughter, Bakhtawar Bhutto, was among the many to offer the New Zealand Prime Minister their congratulations.
Ardern, who become the country’s second-youngest P.M. in its history in October, had endured numerous questions about her looks and the possibility that might she become pregnant both during and after her remarkable election campaign — and in one instance famously told an interviewer it was “unacceptable in 2017 to say that women should have to answer that question in the workplace” after she was asked one too many times about whether she might become pregnant while in office.
“I am not the first woman to multitask,” Ardern noted in a later, less contentious, interview with Radio New Zealand following the announcement of her pregnancy in January. “I am not the first woman to work and have a baby; there are many women who have done this before.”
According to CNN, Ardern will take six weeks of maternity leave and have Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peter fill in until her return. Gayford is reportedly planning to quit his job hosting a fishing documentary series so that he can care for the baby full time. The happy parents have yet to announce the tot’s name.
News of the birth was welcomed by many in New Zealand, including one of Ardern’s predecessors in office. Former Prime Minister Helen Clark wrote a congratulatory column in The Guardian in which she praised Ardern for showing that “no doors are closed to women.”
Clark went on to discuss exactly what the birth means for gender roles in the country. “For young women, the example Ardern is setting is an affirmation that they too can expect to have that choice,” she wrote. “For young men, Gayford being the full time carer of a baby sends a powerful message that they too can exercise that choice.”
Read the full story at CNN.