Friday, January 26, 2018

Jacinda Ardern inspires women and knitters

I bet you have heard, as it was all over the news: New Zealand’s new Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, is pregnant. The media is making a big deal out of it, as I think she will be the first head of state giving birth while in office (well, apart from monarchs that is) and it kind of is. It should be normal for a woman in power to also have children, but to this day, it is not. Therefore Jacinda Ardern is sending out an important message to all the women of the world: You can have a great job and still take time to give birth to your child. 

The world won’t stop to turn when you take maternity leave and take care of yourself and your offspring. I kind of love her for that! It is going to work out and make becoming pregnant in your job a much more normal thing. In Germany, young mothers get a lot of protection from the state, I think you can stay absent and still have the guarantee to get back to your old job after three years. This is a big burden for employers of course and it means that a lot of young female professionals don’t get more responsibilities as there is always the risk of them dropping out. This is unfair both to the women who want to be moms as well as to the women who don’t plan / are not able to have a family. We are all still seen as potential breeders.

This is why the pregnancy of the Prime Minister is such a big deal, to show everybody that it can work out and I hope she will inspire a lot of young women to take the opportunity to step up the ladder, while planning a family or even if they are already pregnant. 

Ardern's pregnancy has sparked an adorable movement in her country. The hashtag #knitforjacinda sparked a knitting movement of donations to families who are less well-off and might make good use of handknit baby clothes. The press covered this charity-knit extensively and maybe it can inspire people from all over the world to use their crafts for the less-fortunate. Handmade baby shoes or hats are such adorable and at the same time useful gifts and it doesn't only make the new parents happy, but giving also shows great health and happiness benefits for the giver. So, swing your needles, peeps and do it for a good cause nearby. (There are e.g. a lot of hospitals accepting hats and socks for preemies.)
Let's celebrate Jacinda's great example for women worldwide and give something back. 

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