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Jun 14, 2018: New Zealand’s Prime Minister takes a break to give birth

NEW ZEALAND - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern plans to leave work on Jun 14 for six weeks of maternity leave, just days before she is due to give birth. She downplayed her plan to combine motherhood with running the country. “I won’t be the first woman to multi-task,” she told reporters.

The 37-year old Ardern, who assumed office in late October shortly after finding out that she and her partner, Clarke Gayford, were going to become parents, is not the first government leader to give birth in modern times while in office. Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan prime minister from 1988 to 1990 and again from 1993 to 1996, gave birth while running the government. Each of the women can claim other distinctions: Ardern, the third woman to lead New Zealand, is its youngest premier in 150 years; while Bhutto was the first woman to head a democratic government in a Muslim majority nation.

Gayford, a TV presenter, plans to take on the primary role of caring for the baby after the prime minister returns to running the country.

During her maternity break, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters of the New Zealand First Party, Ardern’s Labour Party coalition partner, will be acting prime minister.

#22493 Published: 01/25/2018

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