7 things to know about Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand's pregnant prime minister
Since she took office in October, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been making waves. And today, January 19th, Ardern announced that she is pregnant, making her one of only a few world leaders to have given birth in office. What else do we know about her?
1She is the world’s youngest female leader.
At age 37, Ardern is New Zealand’s youngest prime minister in 150 years. Not only that, but she is the youngest woman to ever lead a country.
2 She’s a proven progressive.
Ardern joined New Zealand’s Labour Party as an 18-year-old. The party’s platform includes providing free mental health care, raising the minimum wage, and cleaning up the nation’s rivers.
3 Ardern used to be a Mormon.
Although she was raised Mormon, Ardern left the church in her 20s because of its attitude toward LGBTQ people. But she told the New Zealand Herald that she has no hard feelings toward religious people in general.
4 Ardern and her partner are smashing gender roles.
The prime minister told reporters that after her six-week maternity leave, her partner, Clarke Gayford, will be a full-time stay-at-home dad.
5 She came to power in a weird way.
After the leader of the Labour Party, Andrew Little, resigned in July, then-deputy Ardern took control of the party. In New Zealand’s September election, the National Party won the majority of seats in the legislature but didn’t win enough to gain power. Ardern’s Labour Party teamed up with two other parties to gain the 61 seats needed to govern the country, making her New Zealand’s prime minister.
6 She was the owner of the first First Cat of New Zealand.
Ardern’s polydactyl cat, Paddles, became a social media star when Ardern created a Twitter account for her. Sadly, Paddles was hit by a car in November, but her memory (and her social media accounts) will live on.
7 Ardern has a side hustle as a DJ.
The politician has spun beats for a few events, including Auckland’s Laneway Festival in 2014. Her set reportedly features mostly covers by the likes of Beyonce, Smashing Pumpkins, and William Shatner.
Between her future as a working mom, her record-breaking age, and her sweet weekend gig, Ardern is a politician we definitely admire. Congratulations to New Zealand’s prime minister on her pregnancy!