International media deliver opinions on Ardern

8:37 am on 20 January 2018

The Prime Minister's announcement yesterday she is pregnant gave overseas media much to chew on.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's pregnancy announcement was widely covered by international media.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's pregnancy announcement was widely covered by international media. Photo: CNN / Screenshot

"New Zealand has temporarily become New Squeeeeeland, this is delightful," wrote astronomer and New Zealander Michele Bannister on Twitter.

The ABC's Annabel Crabb wrote "Ms Ardern will become the much-scrutinised prototypal model, adding a layer of scrutiny to what was already a tricky job."

"Essentially, Ms Ardern has a "wife" just like the male leaders who tramped before her through history."

A Guardian editorial said "New Zealand was the first country to give votes to women. Now it gives childcare to the prime minister's partner".

"[The couple's] relative prominence makes the impact of their decision greater. Even Mr Gayford's screen persona as a macho outdoor man increases the significance of their announcement. It demonstrates that they recognise there's an important sense in which neither of their high-powered jobs is going to be as influential as the work they do as parents."

Also in the Guardian, Ruby Hamad called the announcement - and the way it was handled, "refreshing".

"Not that we can blame the many women who feel like they can't have a similarly demanding job and be devoted mothers, given women are still navigating a system that assumes women will be the primary caretakers of children and does so very little to help them juggle their professional and personal lives."

For the Huffington Post, Mandy Garner writes, "the pregnancy is sure to be heavily scrutinised and to attract a welter of stereotyped views about pregnant women losing focus during pregnancy..."

World leaders sent their congratulations.

For Metro, Sirena Bergman wrote "the attention devoted to Ms Arden's choice to procreate is being chalked up to the fact that this is first time a head of state will give birth while in power in almost 30 years".

"But this distinction suggests that a woman having a child is somehow inherently different to a man becoming a father, not to mention highlighting the gender discrepancy in politics."

Laura Hampson, writing for the London Evening Standard, called Ms Ardern the "inspirational world leader we need right now.

"Ardern is showing that women can 'have it all' and not choose between career and family. You can be pregnant while negotiating coalition deals, campaigning, winning an election and running a country - while being a generally positive and downright likeable person."

Even Buzzfeed got in on the act, with a very 2018 headline: New Zealand's Prime Minister Just Announced She's Having A Baby And People Are So Excited.

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