Le 26/02/2021. If you work remotely – either because of the COVID-19 pandemic or because that is the nature of your...
Although many feel that it’s a matter of opinion, statistics show that countries with female leaders have fewer cases of contamination and deaths due to COVID-19. Why?
Kathleen Gersen, professor of sociology at New York University, feels that while it is difficult to say that the only reason some countries are faring better with the pandemic is because they have female leaders, it is true that “among the countries which have done a better job of handling this pandemic and the spillover effects that it has had, women are disproportionately represented to a rather startling degree.” Let’s take a look at some countries that support this theory.
In April, Germany’s number of deaths was 2,673 which is far lower than its European neighbours. The chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, understood the gravity of the situation right from the beginning and began testing immediately. Whereas many other European countries wasted time debating the consequences of the disease and the usefulness of testing or wearing masks, Merkel got on with protecting her country from the start.
New Zealand’s Prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, jumped into action while the country had only six cases of COVID-19. She locked down the citizens, imposed self-isolation on people entering the country and then, shortly after, banned foreigners from travelling to New Zealand. How has this helped New Zealand? In April 2020, they declared only four deaths!
Iceland’s prime minister, Katrin Jakobsdottir, has organised free testing for all Icelanders. She has avoided a country lockdown by tracking down people who are symptomatic and isolating only them and the people they’ve had contact with. Schools and businesses have not been affected and Iceland reported a mere eight deaths in April.
Since January, Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, has put 124 methods of blocking the virus into action, and not one of them has been to lock down the country! Has this been effective? If only six deaths is any indication, then yes. Tsai Ing-Wen is sending millions of face masks to Europe and the United States. Thank you, President Ing-Wen, you’re doing a fantastic job of helping both your citizens and those of other countries!
Tsai Ing-wen’s behaviour supports a theory of Professor Gersen that leaders displaying both strength and empathy are more effective at helping their countries through this pandemic. She says, “If women can lead the way in showing that these are not competing and conflicting attributes, but in fact complementary and necessary for good leadership – I think not only will society benefit, but so will men. Maybe then we can begin to open up the scripts for roles that leaders play, regardless of whether it's a woman or a man or anything else.”
to fare = s’en sortir
spillover = les retombées
startling = surprenant
to get on with = se mettre au travail
to lock down = verrouiller
to ban = interdire
to avoid = éviter
mere = seulement
both = à la fois
to display = montrer
attributes = caractéristiques
script = texte
regardless = qu’importe