Jacinda Ardern was voted in as the New Zealand president last year. A week ago she announced that she was pregnant, and due in June. The announcement sent shock waves throughout New Zealand, and has raised questions for both domestic and international observers. For one, can the prime minister take maternity leave? It seems they can. Many question her ability to lead the country whilst pregnant. Do pregnancy hormones affect ones decision making? What if she got morning sickness during the opening of an important event?
For many it seems absurd that a pregnant women could continue to lead a country. But there have been women before Ms Ardern, like Queen Elizabeth II, and Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan. For others the question is, why not? in this new age of female empowerment, why should pregnancy be an obstacle for a woman in power?
The world is watching how Jacinda Ardern handles both the leadership of New Zealand and her pregnancy, and the result will have future impacts on pregnant women in leadership roles. It will show the world if it is possible for women to carry a new life inside them and still carry on life as usual- which, as has been demonstrated by billions of women over the past 100 000 years- the actual truth.