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Why this prime minister’s pregnancy announcement matters so much

Diego Opatowski | AFP

New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern shows that motherhood doesn’t have to be incompatible with career success.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her partner, Clarke Gayford, have announced that they are expecting their first child in June — but she’s not stepping down from her position.

Though she will take a six-week leave of absence following the birth, Ardern has no plans to leave her role in government. “I’ll be prime minister and a mum,” she said in The Guardian. “And Clarke will be ‘first man of fishing’ and stay-at-home dad.”

Green party leader, James Shaw, celebrated the announcement, saying, “That a woman can be the prime minister of New Zealand and choose to have a family while in office says a lot about the kind of country we are and that we can be.”

Though the pregnancy was unexpected, the couple says they’re thrilled. Ardern joins an army of women who prove that motherhood doesn’t have to mean the end of your dreams or be incompatible with career success.

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