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When politicians bring their kids to work

By The Rediff News Bureau
Last updated on: September 25, 2018 09:04 IST
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On Monday (September 24), New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made history as the first female world leader to attend the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York with her newborn baby in tow.

However, Ardern isn’t the first to bring their kids to work.

Here are some examples of kids roaming the halls of power.

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern appeared with her infant daughter -- Neve Te Aroha -- at the UN on Monday evening, and played with her before giving a speech at the Nelson Mandela peace summit. While she spoke, Ardern’s partner Clarke Gayford held the three-month-old baby on his lap. Ardern had given birth to Neve in June 21 and returned to work in early August after taking six months maternity leave. Photograph: Carlo Allegri/Reuters

In India too, children have often made their presence felt at Parliament. Remember when Priyanka Vadra's mohawk sporting son Raihan made his entrance? But, no child at Parliament has been younger than Rashtriya Janata Dal's Misa Bharti's son who was only two months old. May be the Rashtriya Janata Dal headed by Lalu is looking to the future. Photograph: @beingyaduvanshi/Twitter

Kumamoto City assembly member Yuka Ogata sparked a row and prompted a discussion on the difficulties working mothers face when she brought her seven-month-old baby, Dogen, to the Japanese Municipal Assembly. But before the session had even gotten started, the new mother's male colleagues asked her to leave. The reasoning? Assembly rules state that “visitors are not allowed to enter the chamber during a session under any circumstances.” None of this seemed to come as much of a shock to Ogata. She didn't really bring her son to work because she had to, but rather as an act of solidarity for Japanese mothers who are struggling with the challenges of raising their children. Photograph: Kyodo/Reuters

In 2017, Swedish Member European Parliament Jytte Guteland brought her infant son to a vote at the European Parliament. She said that the reason was that she wanted workplaces to be more “child friendly. Guteland said she wanted to normalise bringing children to work so that parents could do so when necessary. Photograph: Vincent Kessler/Reuters

May be one of the first instances of a child being brought to the corridors of power was when Denmark's member of the European Parliament Hanne Dahl brought her three-month-old baby in a voting session in 2009. According to press reports, Dahl did not intend to make a political statement but needed to take her child because her husband could not be in Brussels that day. Photograph: Vincent Kessler/Reuters

In 2010, Italy's Member of the European Parliament Licia Ronzulli created a stir when she brought her six-week-old daughter Vittoria to work. The pictures of the politician voting while carrying her baby in a sling caused a media stir. However, speaking to The Guardian, she was quoted as saying that "it was not a political gesture. It was first of all a maternal gesture -- that I wanted to stay with my daughter as much as possible, and to remind people that there are women who do not have this opportunity [to bring their children to work], that we should do something to talk about this". Photograph: Vincent Kessler/Reuters

Australian Senator Larissa Waters made history when she breastfed in Parliament. The mother of two returned to work within two months of delivering her daughter. She'd posted the photograph on Twitter and wrote: "So proud that my daughter Alia is the first baby to be breastfed in the federal Parliament." Photograph: Larissa Waters/Twitter
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