Udisha Srivastav - When A Pandemic Knocks At Our Doorstep, We Need Women Leaders To Take The Call As They Fare Better, Data Suggests

Do women leaders perform better when they are confronted with difficult situations (COVID-19 pandemic in this instance)? Do they handle these risk-driven circumstances better than their male counterparts? And if yes, why do we have such a few women leaders as the heads of different countries of the world? It’s time to rest all these questions to bed. In the onset of the pandemic, a recent academic research by Supriya Garikipati, University of Liverpool, and Uma Kambhampati, University of Reading came to light. It’s named Leading the Fight Against the Pandemic: Does Gender ‘Really’ Matter?

The authors write, “We ask if there is a significant and systematic difference by gender of the national leader in the number of COVID-cases and deaths in the first quarter of the pandemic. We also examine differences in policy responses by male vs. female leaders as plausible explanations for the differences in outcomes”.

What Does The Research Say?

The researchers used the data from 194 countries, counting on a variety of socio-demographic and economic variables to find a match as the nearest neighbors. In the end, countries were paired with one another, Germany with Britain, Bangladesh with Pakistan, and Ireland with New Zealand. Listed here are some of the outlining statements in the research:

  • In the first quarter of the pandemic, Germany had more than 9,000 coronavirus deaths and the UK had more than 41,000.
  • New Zealand had 22 Covid-19 deaths, while Ireland had more than 1,700.
  • Bangladesh had reported 3,500 fatalities while neighboring Pakistan reported more than 6,000.

It also came to a conclusion that in the initial three months of the pandemic, when the number of cases was the same, nearly two times more lives were saved in female-led countries than those run by male leaders.

Women Leaders Perform Better!

As per the researchers, when it comes to protecting human lives, women leaders are more risk-averse compared to their male counterparts. They prioritized human lives over economic outcomes by locking down their countries at a much earlier stage. 

In addition, the leadership style of women proved to be far more empathizing and result-oriented than men. They focused more on updating the general population about the updates related to the pandemic, held as many press conferences as possible, prioritized testing, and spoke directly to the frontline workers with compassion, and maintained clear and decisive communications flows. 

The researchers wrote “the performance of female leaders in the COVID pandemic offers a unique global experiment in national crisis management where various issues, including that of the effectiveness of leadership, can be examined across countries.” 

Video credits: YouTube/France 24 English

Feature Image Credits: The Indian Express

Udisha Srivastav is a Freelance Content Writer with Femsay.com