Female-led countries have saved nearly two times more lives than those run by males despite having similar numbers of cases, suggests a new study. PHOTO by Pexels

Female led countries tackled Covid-19 better , says study

“Our results clearly indicate that women leaders reacted more quickly and decisively in the face of potential fatalities. In almost all cases, they locked down earlier than male leaders in similar circumstances.”

DURBAN –  Female-led countries have saved nearly two times more lives than those run by males despite having similar numbers of cases, suggests a new study published on the Social Science Research Network.

The research, which has yet to be peer-reviewed, analysed 194 countries, suggests the difference is real and “may be explained by the proactive and coordinated policy responses” adopted by female leaders.

Countries led by women including Germany’s Angela Merkel, New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern, Denmark’s Mette Frederiksen, Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen and Finland’s Sanna Marin have so far had success in how they handled the pandemic.

Supriya Garikipati, a developmental economist at Liverpool University, co-author with Reading University’s Uma Kambhampati said: “Our results clearly indicate that women leaders reacted more quickly and decisively in the face of potential fatalities.

“In almost all cases, they locked down earlier than male leaders in similar circumstances. While this may have longer-term economic implications, it has certainly helped these countries to save lives, as evidenced by the significantly lower number of deaths in these countries.”

In an effort to understand why female leaders may be well-positioned to combat the pandemic, the researchers dug into the qualities that female leaders share. They found that female leaders locked down their countries after fewer deaths than did their male counterparts.

However, some prominent scholars argue that the evidence is still very weak and could point to confirmation bias. They also questioned why Belgium, led by Sophie Wilmès, was notching up the world’s highest rate of Covid-19 deaths per million population for any country (other than a microstate in northern Italy).

“Our results clearly indicate that women leaders reacted more quickly and decisively in the face of potential fatalities. In almost all cases, they locked down earlier than male leaders in similar circumstances. While this may have longer-term economic implications, it has certainly helped these countries to save lives, as evidenced by the significantly lower number of deaths in these countries,” said study co-author Supriya Garikipati, a developmental economist at Liverpool University,

 

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