Women leaders combating Covid-19

Worldwide many countries are under confinement for over weeks or months. For leaders and governments, it is a challenge to combat the novel virus that started in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

According to the COVID-19 Dashboard of the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, the United States of America, Spain, Italy, and France are leading the list of countries with a higher rate of cases and deaths.

On the order hand, countries such as South Sudan, Papua New Guinea, and Yemen have a lower number of cases and no deaths (as of the 15th, April).

This week, Forbes magazine listed seven women leaders who had the best outperformance fight against the virus in contrast to the male heads of state. From Women Wheel blog, we would like to highlight who are these women.

1- Jacinda Arden, the Primer Minister of New Zealand,  who said this week in a press conference: “I miss people.” 

According to statistics, the cases of infection have decreased over the past days;  however, she will not lift the strict lockdown measures. 
When there were only 6 cases confirmed in New Zealand, the Primer Minister imposed self-isolation for people entering the country and banned foreigners to enter. These clear decisions taken at an early stage can be reasons they are getting over the coronavirus with fewer deaths.

2- Tsai -Ing -wen, is the first female president in Taiwan. At the outbreak of the coronavirus, she took a quick response that avoided the country from facing a storm.

The president introduced aggressive measures such as a 14 day-quarantine to people who had been in Macau and Hong Kong, the rationing of masks, and restriction entry of travellers from parts of China.

Another significant response of Taiwan was their readiness and preparation for another pandemic. After their experience in 2003 with the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), they established the Command Center of Epidemia where the gathered data,  research was done, and immediately isolated for patients who had the coronavirus was exercised.

3-Mette Frederiksen, the Danish Prime Minister, said: “We will not return to Denmark as it was before March 6”. 

This Nordic European country was one of the first ones to impose lockdown on the 12th of March. After a month, some schools and nurseries were reopened this Wednesday with a lot of restrictions. The Danish Primer Minister welcomed children at the Valby School.

4-Katrí­n Jakobsdóttir, Iceland’s Prime Minister, stepped up early to attack the crisis by reducing flights to Iceland, canceling of events, and others. In Iceland, testing for the coronavirus was randomized, which has a significant implication for the rest of the world.

5-Sanna Marin, the Prime Minister of Finland and the youngest in the world. Since her first press conference, she has demonstrated serenity and security to addressing the country.

She trigged an emergency power act at an early stage of the crisis; for instance, by allowing children of key workers, such as nurses and doctors, to go kindergartens and by using social media influences as crucial characters in combating the pandemic.

6-Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, addressed the country in a calm way: “It is serious, take it seriously”.

Angela grew up in communist East Germany, so her knowledge of given up freedom is comprehensive. Sharing her story probably got engagement with her citizens. “For someone like me, for whom freedom of travel and movement were a hard-won right, such restrictions can only be justified by absolute necessity”, she said, in making a statement at the media reading on the spread of the coronavirus.

7-Erna Solberg, Norway´s Prime Minister, was very creative by using the television show to talk to children about the situation and answering their questions. She said to them: “It is Ok to be scared when so many things happen at the same time”.

Besides the above leaders, please let’s not forget all the other women who are frontliners of this crisis.

On the blog, LSE Sanam Naraghi Anderlini Director of the Centre for Women, wrote an article titled Women Peace and Security in the Time of Corona, which describes four stages of women’s role in this pandemic.

She states that women not only dominate the 70% of the health care, “they also dominate the community social work and civil society sectors, and they too are stepping up to the threats. In Iraq, for example, Fatima Al Bahadly, teacher, peacebuilder and founder of the Ferdows Foundation is leading the charge in community awareness-raising and care about corona”.

Facing this crisis is like being on a roller coaster, so let’s continue our good work and move this wheel. 

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