Jacinda Ardern, who became New Zealand’s youngest Prime Minister, is engaged to partner Clarke Gayford after a proposal over the Easter holidays, a spokesperson for the prime minister has confirmed on Friday, The Guardian reported.
The couple apparently got engaged over the Easter weekend in Hawke’s Bay after which Ardern was spotted wearing a diamond ring at an event at the Pike River mine on Friday. “I can’t say anything about it other than they are engaged and it happened over Easter,” the spokesman told news agency AFP.
PM Ardern gave birth to a baby girl last year with her long time partner Gayford. Thus, becoming the first world leader in nearly 30 years to have a baby while in office. Later, she grabbed headlines for taking her infant daughter onto the floor of the UN Assembly in New York. The couple met when Gayford approached to her about a constituency issue in her Auckland electorate of Mount Albert about five years ago. Gayford, 41, is a host of a TV fishing show.
The couple found out she was pregnant just a few days before she became prime minister on October 26, 2017. She is only the second world leader in modern history to give birth while in office. The first being Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto.
“I am not the first woman to multitask. I am not the first woman to work and have a baby,” She had said then. “We are going to make this work, and New Zealand is going to help us raise our first child.”
Gayford takes care of their ten-month-old daughter Neve Te Aroha, while Ardern, 38, runs the country, as he has taken up the role of stay-at-home dad.
“I’m very, very lucky,” she told Radio NZ.
“I have a partner who can be there alongside me, who’s taking up a huge part of that joint responsibility because he’s a parent too, he’s not a babysitter.”
Ardern is largely seen by many as an icon for women in leadership roles. Not just that, she also wears her feminism on her sleeves.
In January BBC television show Victoria Derbyshire asked Ardern, “You’re a feminist?”
“Oh absolutely, absolutely I am a feminist” said Ardern in reply.
Ardern maintained a calm and compassionate demeanor in wake of the March 15 Christchurch mosque shootings that claimed the lives of 51 Muslim worshippers this year. She not only brought changes in the gun law within 24 hours of the tragedy, but also addressed the Muslim community in New Zealand saying the nation stands united in grief. Her demeanor and display of leadership in such testing times earned her world-wide praise.
At 38, Ardern is the country’s youngest leader since the 19th century.
Ardern is only the third female prime minister of New Zealand, out of a total of 40. Also an amateur DJ, Ardern said in an interview last year that she wants a proposal from Gayford, even though she regards herself as a feminist. “I want to put him through the pain and torture of having to agonise about that question himself,” she told the BBC.
Congratulations to the couple!
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