Congratulations to Jacinda Ardern! The New Zealand prime minister has just given birth to her first child and proven to the world that pregnancy is not a barrier to a successful career.
Except, of course, it is. Yes, Ardern – like Benazir Bhutto before her – has shown that women can hold the highest political office in their countries while also gestating brand new humans. Yet while this ought to make the patriarchy tremble in its boots (there’s nothing we can’t do, lads), it’s worth remembering that for most women, such feats of maternal heroism simply aren’t possible. We won’t be making new laws any time soon; we’re too busy deciding what to do with that vomiting toddler without missing the school run.
The story of Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford, who plans on becoming a stay-at-home father, should warm the cockles of any self-respecting feminist. As former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark puts it, “New Zealand is showing that no doors are closed to women, that having a baby while being prime minister can be managed, and that it’s acceptable for male partners to be full-time carers.”