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News Article

Female Leaders Show Remarkable Crisis Management Skills

By Miriam Bello | Fri, 04/17/2020 - 11:40

March might be over, but the fight for women rights and recognition will never stop, even less when deserved. Amid this sanitary crisis that has been a true threat to human life and our social structure, panic and fear arise. Globally, there are 2,173,432 confirmed cases of COVID-19. This pandemic has become a crisis of all types, causing tragedies and unrepairable damage. Now is time for leadership and strength from our representatives as the whole world is facing the same problem.

Tsai Ing-wen, President of Taiwan offers a story of remarkable efforts as she managed to keep the Asian island on a rate of contagion of less than 400 cases. With a very short proximity to China, the outstanding job of the state was based on very organized decisions that led to a very clear panorama of the situation. Tsai Ing-wen ordered to keep track of the cases and control travel. The preventive measures were intense and taken on time, which made no strict restrictions necessary later. President Tsai Ing-wen told Time that cooperation between public and private sector were key to this success and have also enabled Taiwan to donate supplies to other affected countries.

“Global crises test the fabric of the international community, stretching us at the seams and threatening to tear us apart. Now more than ever, every link in this global network must be accounted for. We must set aside our differences and work together for the benefit of humankind,” Tsai Ing-wen, President of Taiwan

It is no surprise that Chancellor Angela Merkel is one the most outstanding leaders amid the crisis, as well. Her actions and response to COVID-19 gained the approval of German citizens as she remained calm but strategic. On the first days of March, Merkel was clear and straightforward to Germany by saying that the virus could spread among 70 percent of them and there was no other way but taking this matter seriously and win time to prevent massive contagion and crisis. While neighboring countries such as France or Italy had a worse outcome, her numbers have remained somewhat low. “We are still not in a safe place. We must be happy that tougher restrictions may not be needed,” Merkel said. Up to date, Germany is close to ending its quarantine and some activities are expected to start next week.

In New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Arden showed her understanding of the crisis caused by COVID-19 when she ordered a strict lockdown. But according to people on her cabinet, what made the order so effective was the way she approached the crisis and the sense of meaning and purpose on the action. Arden created an alert level framework that was very straightforward to society, leaving little space for doubts. Her soon and clear messages and actions have kept citizens safe, suffering only four deaths.

Nordic countries are of course on the list, as they are on every list of doing things right. Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdóttir from Iceland provides free COVID-19 test, unlike most countries. This strategy has permitted a tracking of the cases and allowed citizens to remain with lax measures and plans of reopening all schools and business soon. In Finland, the youngest prime minister in the world, Sanna Martin, was applauded thanks to her quick reaction toward preventive measures. Her innovative strategy was spreading the news and acting to combat the crisis through influencers on social media.

In Norway, Primer Minister Erna Solberg had the idea of explaining COVID-19 through answering children questions only. This idea made it so easy to explain the rest of citizens why it is okay to be scared and made pretty obvious the need to follow preventive actions. This initiative was later replicated by Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, who, like Merkel, has kept citizens safe and with low rates of contagion. Her prompt reaction to the pandemic allowed the country to reopen some schools and business on April 15.

Compared with these actions, the approaches of leaders like Donald Trump or Boris Johnson have resulted on very tragic outcomes. The future is female, as proved by the remarkable response of these female leaders in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Forbes, Time, Reuters, BBC, The Conversation
Photo by:   Gothamist
Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Senior Journalist and Industry Analyst