COVID-19 will change the myriad ways in which the world functions. However, on the positive side, is the strong message that women leaders, workers and professionals have given to the entire world.
It’s the women who have been in the forefront of this fight that need applause.
Constituting barely 7% of the total ‘Heads of States’, they have taken proactive measures and ensured that the curve flattened out quickly within their respective jurisdictions.
Let us look at some of the actions that were taken by these dynamic leaders:
Taiwanese President Tsai-Ing-wen
Realising the potential disaster awaiting her island nation, she immediately established a command centre and tracked all flights arriving from China, especially from the city of Wuhan.
She also increased the production of Personal Protection Equipments (PPE) and ensured that the disease outbreak led to only 393 positive cases and six deaths.
Her actions have been praised by everyone including the US State Department and the World Health Organization (WHO) has received flak for not even acknowledging the work done by the nation, under pressure from the Chinese authorities.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel
Perhaps a degree in Quantum Chemistry helps in understanding this situation well, one may wonder.
Germany with over 132,000 cases has a very low death per million population. A nation of 83 million people has successfully managed to isolate itself from its European neighbours.
Germany has the highest testing rates in Europe and has a well-established health infrastructure in terms of number of beds per thousand patients. It has been compared to Britain which has witnessed large numbers of cases and even food riots in certain parts of the nation.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
What do you do to a nation that is heavily dependent on Tourism? Shutting down the nation’s borders will result in a setback to the industry. However, this is precisely what the Prime Minister of an island nation consisting of almost five million people did.
She announced a shutting down of all international flights beginning March 19 and announced a four-week lockdown commencing from March 23.
Testing facilities were ramped up and the nation recorded only 1300 cases and nine deaths.
Other Nordic nations
Four out of the five Nordic nations are led by women leaders.
34-year-old Sanna Marin, the Finnish Prime Minister has got an approval rating for her handling of the situation with only 59 deaths being reported in a population of 5.5 million.
Iceland’s Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir had a challenge in terms of asymptomatic carriers of the virus. She intervened, from the word ‘go’ and increased the testing facilities and immediately ensured the flattening of the curve.
The Virus has brought out a well-known fact that women leaders when given a chance can create wonders anywhere and everywhere.
In India, the local bodies have seen that. In places such as Rajasthan, school enrolment rates and learning outcomes along with nutritional standards have improved with the enactment of the 73 and 74 Constitutional Amendment Acts which provide for compulsory reservation to women.