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Women of the world vs. Corona

Political wisdom that surpassed male populism

Women in various countries of the world have played a prominent role in confronting the Corona pandemic, since the beginning of the pandemic in China in late December 2019. The World Health Organization itself has recognized the leading and important role of women in surrounding the pandemic and limiting its negative effects, especially about avoiding infection and avoiding infection and death in case of injury.

The growing role of women in the face of Corona was not limited to women’s medical and semi-medical frameworks, but the matter goes beyond that to the “wisdom” that women political leaders have demonstrated in some countries of the world to address the threat of the pandemic, compared to male political leaders, as some recent studies have proven that In positions of political responsibility, women performed better than men in facing the pandemic and were more able to deal with and reduce the risks of Corona.

Wise Political Decision:

Early in its outbreak, leaders of countries such as Jacinda Ardern (New Zealand), Tsai Ing-wen (Taiwan), and Sheikh Hasina (Bangladesh) were praised for adopting early measures against Corona to stop the spread of the disease early and not allow it to spread widely.

A new study in Brazil suggests that having a woman as a leader can save more lives in the event of an epidemic than having a man in charge. The researchers found that states in the country governed by women had 43 percent fewer Covid deaths and 30 percent lower hospitalizations than those ruled by male politicians. It is said, in this context, that the explanation is related to the adoption of non-pharmacological measures such as imposing the wearing of masks and banning large gatherings, measures that women were more inclined to impose.

What is the reason for the success of women-led countries in facing the Corona epidemic?
“Our results provide compelling evidence that women leaders have outperformed their male counterparts when dealing with a global political issue,” wrote researchers who prepared new studies. “Our results also show the role that local leaders can play in countering bad policies implemented by populist leaders at the national level,” they added.

      The study found that female leaders were 5.5 percent more likely    to ban large gatherings, 8 percent more likely to enforce the mandatory use of masks, and 14 percent more likely to insist on mandatory entry tests to enter their cities

The researchers wanted to underscore the importance of these. choices by estimating how many lives would have been saved if half of the Brazilian towns were led by women (only about 13 percent of Brazilian cities currently have female leaders)
They said the country could have seen 15 percent fewer deaths, with researchers estimating that 75,000 of the more than 540,000 Brazilians who lost their lives due to Covid would likely be alive today.

What made women better than men in decision-making?
The researchers looked at a range of potential factors such as age and educational attainment but found no link between these factors and women’s preference. They also found that the results were not related to any measures taken before the epidemic that would change health outcomes such as increasing the number of hospital beds or investing in public health
Interestingly in a country like Brazil, women leaders have adopted restrictive measures even in municipalities where far-right president Yair Bolsonaro has received a higher percentage of votes. Bolsonaro has strongly opposed the use of masks and any kind of restrictions, going so far as to personally violate the rules of social spacing.

“The truth is that when we look at data on the party and political affiliation, women in mayor tend to be more conservative than their male peers,” says Raphael Bruce, co-author of the research at the Insper Institute.
Gaget Miranda, a public policy researcher at The University of Digley Stade di Milano Picuka in Italy, says explanations can be found in characteristics often associated with women.
The researcher herself said: ‘There is already research showing that women in general are more committed to non-pharmacological measures to combat covid, such as social spacing and the use of masks.’
“If women in general do so, mayors must do so as well, and others have political power to ask the population to take that approach.”

Why are women-led countries successful in the face of the epidemic?
New Zealand, Germany, Taiwan and Norway are women-led States with relatively fewer deaths from COVID than other countries. In this context, the media praised these politicians and their positions, and the actions they have taken to address the global health crisis. In a recent article, Forbes magazine considered them ‘examples of true leadership’.
Observers noted that most of the leaders who passed the Corona test successfully were clearly women, although women made up only 7 percent of world leaders.

So, what makes women seem more successful in fighting the COVID epidemic?
Iceland’s Prime Minister Catherine Yakubsdottir has launched a large-scale campaign for HIV tests. Although the country’s population is approximately 360,000, Iceland has not only waited, but has taken measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, such as preventing gatherings of more than 20 people, since the end of January 2020, before the first case of the disease was recorded. On April 20, 2020, nine people died in Iceland from the epidemic.
In Taiwan, officially part of China, President Tsai Ing-wen immediately established a center to control the epidemic and took action to contain and track HIV infections. It has also accelerated the production of personal protections such as face masks.

Meanwhile, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has taken one of the world’s most difficult positions against Corona, and instead of the ‘stabilization of the infection rate’ policy, which has become the goal of many countries, Ardern has taken an approach aimed at stopping infections. Closures were imposed when the number of deaths reached only six, and on April 20, 2020, there were 12 deaths.

Other factors

The presence of women leaders is not the only common denominator among these countries that have responded well to the crisis, but there are other factors:
All of these countries have developed economies and systems that ensure the well-being of citizens, and have the highest rates in the Social Development Index. In addition, it has good health care systems capable of adapting to emergencies.

Observers say there is a role to be played in how each of these women have chosen to define the country’s policy. “I don’t think there’s a leadership style for women that’s different from that of men,” says Dr. Gita Rao Gupta, director of a UN women’s programme. But when women are represented in leadership positions, they make decision-making diverse.’
“This leads to better decisions because you listen to the visions of men and women. This is different from the way in which leaders men, such as muscle flexing and denying scientific facts, such as that of former U.S. President Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.’

Rosie Campbell, Director of the Global Centre for Women’s Leadership at London College, says: ‘There are no women’s and men’s leadership methods. But as is becoming more socially common, it is more acceptable for women to be more sympathetic and cooperative leaders. Unfortunately, there are more men who have fallen into the cycle of narcissism and excess competitiveness.’
She believes that these tendencies in male leaders ‘have been exacerbated by the entry of populists into politics’.

‘Masculine’ policy problem

Rosie Campbell explains that populist leaders rely on ‘simplified
messages’ to gain support, often affecting their approach to managing the epidemic crisis.
Political leaders in America, Brazil, Israel, Hungary, and other countries have often seized opportunities to evade responsibility and blame by linking the crisis to external factors, such as accusing foreigners of ‘bringing the disease’ home.

Professor Campbell adds: ‘Both Trump and Bolsonaro have resorted to a very male character. This character is their choice. We often do not find women among the populist far-right parties, of course, with clear exceptions such as the case of Marie-Le Pen in France.’
In general, the response to the Covid-19 crisis was mixed, and one of the reasons for that was the social and economic reality of each country, in addition to the resources available, and gender may have no role.
Therefore, in a country run by male leaders who did not fall within professor Campbell’s stereotype, fewer deaths were recorded than in other countries.

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