What do states (and territories) with the best coronavirus responses have in common? They are all led by women, an interesting observation made last week by social media users as they shared collages of women leaders while pointing out how they are doing a disproportionately better job at handling the pandemic.
News reports show how New Zealand's prime minister Jacinda Arden took early action to shut down tourism and impose a month-long lockdown on the entire country, limiting coronavirus casualties to just four deaths.
Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany took the bug seriously and the country began testing right from the get go. Germany has overseen the largest-scale coronavirus testing program in Europe, conducting 350,000 tests each week, detecting the virus early enough to isolate and treat patients effectively. The country’s numbers are far below its European neighbours, and there are signs they may be able to start loosening restrictions relatively soon.
Iceland, under the leadership of Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir, is offering free coronavirus testing to all its citizens. According to an April 13 article on Forbes.com, the country will become a key case study in the true spread and fatality rates of Covid-19. The report stated: "Most countries have limited testing to people with active symptoms. Iceland is going whole hog. In proportion to its population the country has already screened five times as many people as South Korea has, and instituted a thorough tracking system that means they haven’t had to lockdown… or shut schools."
A look at the numbers (April 15)
- Germany: 132,210 cases, 3,495 deaths, 72,600 recoveries
- Iceland: 1,720 cases, 8 deaths, 989 recoveries
- New Zealand: 1,386 cases, 9 deaths, 728 recoveries
- Denmark: 6511 cases, 299 deaths, 2515 recoveries
- Finland: 3161 cases, 64 death, 300 recoveries
According to an analysis of thousands of 360-degree reviews published on Harvard Business Review last year, women outscored men on 17 of the 19 capabilities that differentiate excellent leaders from average or poor ones.
Still, women make up less than 7 per cent of world leaders. Why?
According to activist @SophieRunning, women leaders have to do twice as well as their male counterparts, to be taken seriously as leaders: "Why women leaders in NZ and Germany are showing how to beat #corona - because women have to be better in order to become leaders; they have to be twice as good as men to be taken half as seriously and held to far higher standards."
Thanks to the numbers social media users are applauding women leaders for their apparent quick thinking and fast action to control the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some Twitter users even said it was time for the world to bring in more women leaders.
What do you think? Tell us in a letter to the editor on firstname.lastname@example.org. Meanwhile, let's end with the famous lyrics of pop's Queen B, "Who run the world? Girls."