Are female leaders more successful at managing the coronavirus crisis? - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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While countries with the greatest coronavirus impact are led by dominating alpha males (US, UK, Russia, Brazil), many of the countries that have managed the pandemic well are led by female leaders: Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Norway, Iceland, Finland, Taiwan, South Korea and New Zealand.

Coincidence? Perhaps not.

Why women leaders are excelling during the coronavirus pandemic

The actions of female leaders in Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway, Iceland, Finland, Germany, Taiwan and New Zealand are cited as supporting evidence that women are managing the crisis better than their male counterparts. Resilience, pragmatism, benevolence, trust in collective common sense, mutual aid and humility are mentioned as common features of the success of these women leaders.


Many of these successful countries also rank high on the The Global Gender Gap Index 2020 rankings: Iceland, Norway, Finland, New Zealand, Germany, Denmark.

What if countries led by women are managing the pandemic more effectively not because they are women, but because the election of women is a reflection of societies where there is a greater presence of women in many positions of power, in all sectors?

Greater involvement of women results in a broader perspective on the crisis, and paves the way for the deployment of richer and more complete solutions than if they had been imagined by a homogeneous group.


Why Are Women-Led Nations Doing Better With Covid-19?

Having a female leader is one signal that people of diverse backgrounds — and thus, hopefully, diverse perspectives on how to combat crises — are able to win seats at that table. In Germany, for instance, Ms. Merkel’s government considered a variety of different information sources in developing its coronavirus policy, including epidemiological models; data from medical providers; and evidence from South Korea’s successful program of testing and isolation. As a result, the country has achieved a coronavirus death rate that is dramatically lower than those of other Western European countries.

By contrast, the male-led governments of Sweden and Britain — both of which have high coronavirus death tolls — appear to have relied primarily on epidemiological modeling by their own advisers, with few channels for dissent from outside experts.


Are female leaders more successful at managing the coronavirus crisis?

On 1 April, the prime minister of Sint Maarten addressed her nation’s 41,500 people. Coronavirus cases were rising, and Silveria Jacobs knew the small island country, which welcomes 500,000 tourists a year, was at great risk: it had two ICU beds.

Jacobs did not want to impose a strict lockdown, but she did want physical distancing observed. So she spelled it out: “Simply. Stop. Moving,” she said. “If you don’t have the bread you like in your house, eat crackers. Eat cereal. Eat oats. Eat … sardines.”

The 51-year-old Caribbean premier may not have the global profile of Angela Merkel or Jacinda Ardern, but her blunt message exemplified firm action, effective communication – and showed another female leader getting the job done.

From Germany to New Zealand and Denmark to Taiwan, women have managed the coronavirus crisis with aplomb. Plenty of countries with male leaders – Vietnam, the Czech Republic, Greece, Australia – have also done well. But few with female leaders have done badly.

Ardern, 39, New Zealand’s premier, has held Kiwis’ hands through the lockdown, delivering empathetic “stay home, save lives” video messages from her couch and communicating daily through non-combative press conferences or intimate Facebook Live videos, her favourite medium.

Her insistence on saving lives and her kindness-first approach – urging New Zealanders to look after their neighbours, take care of the vulnerable, and make sacrifices for the greater good – has won her many fans, while her emphasis on shared responsibility has united the country.

Choosing to “go hard and go early”, Ardern imposed a 14-day quarantine on anyone entering the country on 14 March and implemented a strict lockdown two weeks later, when fewer than 150 people had been infected and none had died. New Zealand has recorded just 18 deaths; public trust in Ardern’s government is greater than 80%.

In Germany, Angela Merkel has been hailed for direct but uncharacteristically personal public interventions, warning that up to 70% of people would contract the virus – the country’s “greatest challenge” since 1945 – and lamenting every death as that of “a father or grandfather, a mother or grandmother, a partner …”

Thanks to extensive testing from the outset, plenty of intensive care beds, and the chancellor’s periodic forthright reminders that Covid-19 was “serious – so take it seriously”, Germany has so far recorded fewer than 5,000 deaths, a far lower figure than most EU countries.

With a doctorate in quantum chemistry, Merkel’s clear, calm expositions – a clip of her explaining the scientific basis behind the government’s lockdown exit strategy was shared thousands of times online – have also helped propel public approval of the fourth-term chancellor’s handling of the crisis above 70%.

In nearby Denmark, meanwhile, the prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, acted equally firmly, closing the Scandinavian country’s borders as early as 13 March, and following up a few days later by shutting all kindergartens, schools and universities and banning gatherings of more than 10 people.

That decisiveness appears to have spared Denmark the worst of the pandemic, with fewer than 8,000 confirmed cases and 370 deaths. Frederiksen’s no-punches-pulled speeches and clear instructions to the nation have been widely praised.

She even managed to show a sense of fun, posting a clip on Facebook of herself doing the dishes while singing along to the 1980s Danish popsters Dodo and the Dodos during the nation’s weekly TV lockdown singalong. The Scandinavian country’s youngest-ever prime minister, whose approval ratings have doubled to more than 80%, has now begun easing its lockdown.

Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen responded equally fast, activating the country’s central epidemic command centre in early January and introducing travel restrictions and quarantine measures. Mass public hygiene measures were rolled out, including disinfecting public areas and buildings.

In all, Taiwan adopted 124 control and contain measures in weeks, making a full lockdown unnecessary. It has reported just six deaths, and is now dispatching millions of face masks to the worst-struck parts of the US and Europe. Tsai’s warm, authoritative style has won her plaudits, even from political opponents.

Norway, with 7,200 cases and 182 deaths, this week began relaxing its restrictions by reopening kindergartens. The prime minister, Erna Solberg, told CNN she had made a point of “letting scientists make the big medical decisions”, adding that she thought her country’s early lockdown and thorough testing programme had been key.

Following an example set earlier by Frederiksen, Solberg also took the unusual step of directly addressing the country’s children, telling them in two press conferences – from which adult journalists were banned – that it was “permitted to be a little bit scared” and that she, too, missed being able to hug her friends.

Meanwhile, Iceland, under the prime minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir’s, leadership, has offered free testing to all citizens, not only those with symptoms, and has recorded 1,800 cases and 10 deaths. Some 12% of the population has taken up the offer, and an exhaustive tracing system has meant the country has not had to close schools.

Finland’s prime minister, Sanna Marin – who last year became the world’s youngest head of government – also moved decisively to impose a strict lockdown, including a ban on all non-essential travel in and out of the Helsinki region. This has helped her country contain the spread of the virus to just 4,000 cases and 140 deaths, a per-million toll 10 times lower than that of neighbouring Sweden.

Not all the women who have excelled in the corona crisis are national leaders. Jeong Eun-kyeong, the unflappable head of South Korea’s centre for disease control, has become a national icon after overseeing a “test, trace, contain” strategy that has made the country the world’s coronavirus role-model, with daily infections in single digits and a death toll of less than 250.

Jeong, a former rural doctor dubbed “the world’s best virus hunter”, has delivered no-nonsense daily press conferences, including demonstrating the ideal way to cough. While these have won praise, her work ethic – she has left an emergency operations bunker only for quick visits to a food truck – has prompted concern for her health.

Following an example set earlier by Frederiksen, Solberg also took the unusual step of directly addressing the country’s children, telling them in two press conferences – from which adult journalists were banned – that it was “permitted to be a little bit scared” and that she, too, missed being able to hug her friends.

Meanwhile, Iceland, under the prime minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir’s, leadership, has offered free testing to all citizens, not only those with symptoms, and has recorded 1,800 cases and 10 deaths. Some 12% of the population has taken up the offer, and an exhaustive tracing system has meant the country has not had to close schools.

Finland’s prime minister, Sanna Marin – who last year became the world’s youngest head of government – also moved decisively to impose a strict lockdown, including a ban on all non-essential travel in and out of the Helsinki region. This has helped her country contain the spread of the virus to just 4,000 cases and 140 deaths, a per-million toll 10 times lower than that of neighbouring Sweden.

Not all the women who have excelled in the corona crisis are national leaders. Jeong Eun-kyeong, the unflappable head of South Korea’s centre for disease control, has become a national icon after overseeing a “test, trace, contain” strategy that has made the country the world’s coronavirus role-model, with daily infections in single digits and a death toll of less than 250.

Jeong, a former rural doctor dubbed “the world’s best virus hunter”, has delivered no-nonsense daily press conferences, including demonstrating the ideal way to cough. While these have won praise, her work ethic – she has left an emergency operations bunker only for quick visits to a food truck – has prompted concern for her health.


Coronavirus is showing yet again why the world needs more strong female decision-makers
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The female leader of South Korea had been overthrown and thrown into jail a few years ago. Information needs update.

And then we have Carrie Lam, the strongwoman of Hong Kong, who deliberately wants to kill us just because Xi Jiping and the top Commies want their privileged to have somewhere to get treatment.

Being strong is not everything.
#15095470
Atlantis is illustrating the 'women are wonderful' effect, which is a rampant positive bias towards women in MSM outlets and ascribes all manner of positive traits to them, and of course automatically condemns men to be violent primitive brutes and blames them for all negative outcomes. Imagine if these news outlets would say the same thing about men when they outperform their female counterparts (which they did in this case) - we wouldn't hear the end of it.

Here are two classic feminists condemning the WAW-effect for what it is - bigotry towards men.



#15095475
I don't think their gender is relevant. Some countries are doing better with male leaders, and some with female leaders. Maybe female leaders are more likely to have the empathy that allows them to react better to a pandemic?

It's a theory, anyways. I doubt there's any real evidence to support this, aside from the anecdotal stuff.
#15095479
Godstud wrote:I don't think their gender is relevant. Some countries are doing better with male leaders, and some with female leaders. Maybe female leaders are more likely to have the empathy that allows them to react better to a pandemic?

It's a theory, anyways. I doubt there's any real evidence to support this, aside from the anecdotal stuff.


Angela Merkel is Germany's PM and she did a very good job with the pandemic. But she is a scientist through her education. She handled it with total dedication to scientific research. It was a completely scientific approach. I think also South Korea knew what needed to be done to contain it early on and also had an advantage of experience with SARS before. If you deal with it as a scientist would? You do well. You do it with politics and denial and Jesus is going to stop the virus? It is not going to work for your nation. Nothing wrong with being scientific and asking for prayer to help you at the same time.

I think using common sense, testing, tracing and quarantine and also telling people we will pay your bills and the small business people we will help you with zero percent loans and or subsidize you til you get back on your feet is the proper thing to do.
#15095481
While countries with the greatest coronavirus impact are led by dominating alpha males (US, UK, Russia, Brazil), many of the countries that have managed the pandemic well are led by female leaders: Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Norway, Iceland, Finland, Taiwan, South Korea and New Zealand.


Most of these nations closed their borders to foreigners much earlier than other European nations. Denmark was the only EU member state which banned all foreigners from entering the country just after the onset of the outbreak. Germany imposed strict border controls on EU nationals despite the EU's pleas to keep borders open within the EU. South Korea imposed a two-week quarantine period for all foreign arrivals, which will be belatedly enforced from 8 June in Britain. In Korea, new international arrivals are informed that they will have to spend two weeks at a quarantine facility upon arrival. This mandatory self-quarantine will apply to everyone, regardless of nationality.



Denmark has become the latest European country to take dramatic steps to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, which causes the COVID-19 disease. The happiest country in the world is banning international tourists for the next month by closing its border to all non-resident foreigners. From midday on Saturday, March 14, until April 13, only returning Danish citizens and documented residents of Denmark will be allowed into the country. Food, medicine and goods that are vital to industry are the other exceptions.

Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Fredriksen announced the border closure at a press conference on Friday night, giving less than 24 hours notice. At the time of the announcement, Denmark had recorded 801 positive cases, of which 23 were hospitalized and four were in intensive care.

Despite the drastic measures, Fredriksen confirmed that she expects the number of confirmed cases to rise and for there to be deaths. “We are in uncharted territory but I’m sure we’ll get through this together,” said Fredriksen. She described the measures as “violent” but said she was convinced they would be worth it, even if the benefits wouldn’t be seen until a later date.
Last edited by ThirdTerm on 30 May 2020 16:20, edited 2 times in total.
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ThirdTerm wrote: Germany imposed strict border controls on EU nationals despite the EU's pleas to keep borders open within the EU.


That's no true. Germany is very much attached to open borders. That's why it closed the borders after most of its neighbors had already done so. Germany should have introduced border restrictions or at least travel warnings much earlier. To let tourists travel to Italy or Tirol in March was just mad.

What saved Germany from the high numbers of infections of its Western neighbors was a broad-based diagnostic network that was ready for tracing and testing before the first virus was even imported. In other words, the very opposite of what happened in the US.
#15095590
German borders are temporarily closed to its neighbours (i.e. Austria, Switzerland, France, Denmark, Italy and Spain). Female leaders could get away with strict immigration policies that could be welcomed by the far right because of their soft image, while male leaders were too scared to do so. Boris should have quarantined all international arrivals for two weeks much earlier when he contracted the virus. This video was released two months ago and I remember watching a similar video footage.



Current Temporarily Reintroduced Border Controls

Temporarily reintroduced border controls in the context of cases requiring immediate action:

Iceland (24 April – 3 June 2020)
Coronavirus COVID-19; all internal borders.
Temporarily reintroduced border controls in the context of foreseeable events:

Slovakia (28 May – 26 June 2020)
Coronavirus COVID-19; all internal borders;
Spain (10 May - 7 June 2020)
Coronavirus COVID-19; all internal borders;
Germany (16 May - 15 June 2020)
Coronavirus COVID-19; land and air borders with Austria, Switzerland, France, Denmark, Italy and Spain, sea border with Denmark;
Germany (12 May - 11 November 2020)
Secondary movements, situation at the external borders; land border with Austria;
Estonia (18 May – 16 June 2020)
Coronavirus COVID-19; internal air and sea borders;
Portugal (15 May – 15 June 2020)
Coronavirus COVID-19; land border with Spain;
Poland (14 March - 12 June 2020)
Coronavirus COVID-19; land borders with Czechia, Slovakia, Germany, Lithuania, sea borders, air borders;
Hungary (12 May – 11 November 2020)
Coronavirus COVID-19; all internal land and air borders;
Finland (19 March - 14 June 2020)
Coronavirus COVID-19; all internal borders;
Lithuania (14 May – 31 May 2020)
Coronavirus COVID-19; all internal borders;
Czechia (14 May – 13 June 2020)
Coronavirus COVID-19; land borders with Austria and Germany, air borders;
Austria (8 May - 15 Juine 2020)
Coronavirus COVID-19; land borders with Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Slovakia and Czechia;
Belgium (19 May - 8 June 2020)
Coronavirus COVID-19; all internal borders;
Switzerland (14 May – 8 June 2020)
Coronavirus COVID-19; all internal air and land borders except from borders with Liechtenstein;
Austria (12 May 2020 - 11 November 2020)
Secondary movements, risk related to terrorists and organized crime, situation at the external borders; land borders with Hungary and with Slovenia;
Sweden (12 May - 11 November 2020)
Terrorist threats, shortcomings at the external borders; to be determined but may concern all internal borders;
Denmark (12 May – 12 November 2020)
Coronavirus COVID-19 (to the extent necessary), terrorist threats, organized criminality; all internal borders;
France (1 May - 31 October 2020)
Coronavirus COVID-19; continuous terrorist threat and risk of terrorists using the vulnerability of States due to COVID-19 pandemics; support to measures aiming at containing the spread of virus; all internal borders;
Norway (12 May - 11 November 2020)
Terrorist threats, secondary movements; ports with ferry connections with Denmark, Germany and Sweden;
Norway (15 May – 13 August 2020)
Coronavirus COVID-19; all internal borders.

https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/what- ... control_en
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It goes without saying that there are numerous factors determining the severity of the pandemic in a country, but the US, Brazil, Russia and the UK clearly demonstrate that the type of leadership has a lot to do with it. And as I said above, it's not just the female leader but also the type of society that will elect a female leader.

Show me any female leader capable of the mess created by Trump. Misogynistic snow-flake Trumptards can rave and rant about grabbing them by the pussy, deep down they know that they are worthless scum.

Even if Brits wouldn't tolerate a low-life like Trump, Johnson's style of government together with his populist agenda have turned the UK into the sick man of Europe. The UK of all countries should have been able to avoid such an outcome.

Different from Germany, where the scientific advice informing political decisions was extensively debated in public, the select scientists advising the UK government convened behind closed doors, were then manipulated by political advisers to be finally gagged by the PM.



@ThirdTerm, that's nonsense. What I said above is correct.
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Most European countries haven't had 'publicly debated scientific advice' steering and informing government policy at all. Quite the opposite, in order to deal the effects of panic and hysteria, they've put up a secretive and misleading veneer with incomplete data in order to maintain civil order and ensure compliance.
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The Sabbaticus wrote:Most European countries haven't had 'publicly debated scientific advice' steering and informing government policy at all. Quite the opposite, in order to deal the effects of panic and hysteria, they've put up a secretive and misleading veneer with incomplete data in order to maintain civil order and ensure compliance.


Really? I mean, in Sweden their strategy was designed by a team of epidemiologists and indeed one of the top epidemiologists in the country has been justifying the herd immunity approach.

In the UK, the government changed course after the Imperial College paper (which was then proved to be controversial). The paper was also influential within the US.

@Atlantis what you are saying basically is that populists are gonna be populists. That's true indeed and is probably one of the predictors (although not a perfect one - you could also check out Nayib Bukele in El Salvador for a right wing populist that has been able to fend corona off), but what does it have to do with gender? Do you have anything to say about Belgium, which is currently being led by a woman? If you want we can broaden the analysis to including feminists into the fray, and discuss Spain's approach in this matter (which happens to be headed by another populist government that regards itself as a feminist one).
#15095763
Most government policies in dealing with the pandemic were devised by bureaucrats and European equivalents of centre for disease control and prevention departments. This however does not take away the secretive and often times misleading statements they've made: hand-washing protects you, instead of shaking hands you can touch elbows, masks don't work, gatherings under hundred people are okay, we don't have testing shortages, everyone can get tested, closing borders is xenophobic and racist, herd immunity is our target, hydroxychloroquine is a risky drug, etc. Most dissenting voices were silenced or not given a platform in the media.
#15095777
The Sabbaticus wrote:Most government policies in dealing with the pandemic were devised by bureaucrats and European equivalents of centre for disease control and prevention departments. This however does not take away the secretive and often times misleading statements they've made: hand-washing protects you, instead of shaking hands you can touch elbows, masks don't work, gatherings under hundred people are okay, we don't have testing shortages, everyone can get tested, closing borders is xenophobic and racist, herd immunity is our target, hydroxychloroquine is a risky drug, etc. Most dissenting voices were silenced or not given a platform in the media.


Well, part of the reason for the misleading advice is that we've been learning about the virus as we go. You can't blame the scientists for that.

As for the media, I see your point (particularly trying to get xenophobia into a debate that should be about stopping the spread of the disease). But it's also true that many of those who reject the scientists are a bit... Unhinged to say the least.
#15095789
The Sabbaticus wrote:Most government policies in dealing with the pandemic were devised by bureaucrats and European equivalents of centre for disease control and prevention departments. This however does not take away the secretive and often times misleading statements they've made: hand-washing protects you, instead of shaking hands you can touch elbows, masks don't work, gatherings under hundred people are okay, we don't have testing shortages, everyone can get tested, closing borders is xenophobic and racist, herd immunity is our target, hydroxychloroquine is a risky drug, etc. Most dissenting voices were silenced or not given a platform in the media.


I don't remember hearing most of these statements, and some of them are still true.
#15095910
The Sabbaticus wrote:Most European countries haven't had 'publicly debated scientific advice' steering and informing government policy at all.


What do you know about the public debate in "most European countries"? You are of course able to fluently communicate in most of the more than 30 European languages to make such a bold claim?

Even if you did, I assure you that it is tough to keep update about the breadth of a country's public debate with the help of the national media for more than 4 or 5 countries.

But we all know about the US. Thus, only speaking from what I actually know, I can tell you that the difference between the US and the countries I know is like day and night. That a dapper little bureaucrat like Dr. Fauci should represent the "sane" face of the US's corona response, while the rest of the crew kowtows to the orange creature with a silly grin on their faces, in itself speaks volumes. In Germany for example, the podcasts of one of the world's leading coronavirus experts are listened to regularly by millions of listeners. He, like most of the country’s experts finds a ready ear in the government. During corona press briefings, ministers take the backseat while scientists brief the media on the science-based recommendations of the leading research institutes.

Watching Trump's corona press briefings demonstrates to the entire world the intellectual depravity of Yankee Imperialism.

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