From Germany to New Zealand and from Iceland to Taiwan, women politicians are coming up as examples of true leadership in the COVID-19 crisis. Add in Denmark and Finland, the novel coronavirus pandemic is showing the power of women and their true leadership traits to deal with such situations.
Many people will say these countries are small or islands. But as Germany is one of the leading countries and the United Kingdom is an island with different outcomes. Their leadership is giving an alternative approach to wielding power.
The Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, took an early stand and calmly told her people that novel coronavirus was a serious virus that would be infecting more than 70 per cent of the population. She advised people to take it seriously and her countrymen listened to her. Testing started right from the beginning. Germany has jumped over the phases of anger, denial and disingenuousness. Its death toll is far below other neighbouring European countries and apparently, soon they may start easing the restrictions.
In Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen was among the fastest and first moves. At the beginning of this outbreak, back in January, she introduced 124 preventive measures to control the spread of this highly contagious virus. Those measures didn’t involve lockdowns that have seen elsewhere. She is now helping other nations and sending 10 million masks to Europe and the United States. She managed to be among the world’s best and fastest responses towards the COVID-19 crisis, keeping it under control. Only six coronavirus deaths were reported.
In New Zealand, Jacinda Arden was early to set the maximum level of alerts and lockdown and imposed self-isolation on those who are entering the country astonishingly early, when there were only 6 confirmed cases in the whole country. Decisiveness and clarity are saving her countrymen from the storm. To date, they have only four deaths due to deadly coronavirus. While other countries are thinking to lift the restrictions, Arden is adding more to them, making all the returning countrymen quarantine in designation places for 14 days. She takes 20 per cent pay cut in the symbolic act of solidarity with people struggling financially during this pandemic.
Iceland, under the direction of Katrín Jakobsdóttir, is offering free testing to all the citizens. This will eventually become a key case study in the spread and mortality rates. Most of the countries have limited testing to only symptomatic people. Iceland is going the whole hog. The country has already tested five times more people as compared to South Korea. They have instituted a complete tracking system and they haven’t had to close schools or implement lockdown.
Sanna Marin in Finland became the world’s youngest chief of state last year. A millennial leader spearheaded with the help of social media influencers to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing the fact that not everyone reads the news, they are spreading true information with the help of influencers of any age to manage the crisis.
Erna Solberg, the Prime Minister of Noway, had an innovative idea of using television as a source of direct talk to children. She held a press conference in which adults were not allowed and responded to questions of kids from across the country and explain its okay to feel scared. The obviousness and originality of such an idea take the breath away. Female leadership unleashed many humane innovations.
The care and empathy coming from the female leaders isn’t something we have seen earlier, it apparently coming from the alternative universe. Now, compare the leadership skills of these women with the strongmen using the pandemic for strengthening the trifecta of authoritarianism; blaming others, capturing judiciary and demonizing the journalists.