A new report by the Centre for Economic Policy Research and the World Economic Forum has concluded that countries that have been led by women have acted “systematically and significantly better” in terms of their responses towards the Covid-19 crisis.
The research findings, as Jon Henley observes in The Guardian, indicate that countries led by women chose to lock down earlier and have suffered “half as many deaths on average as those led by men”.
The analysis covered 194 countries and examined the policy decisions and actions of governments headed by Germany’s Angela Merkel, Denmark’s Mette Frederiksen, New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern, Finland’s Sanna Marin and Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen, amongst others.
According to Supriya Garikipati, co-author of the report and a developmental economist at Liverpool University: “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”.
Garikipati noted that, even accounting for institutional contexts and other control factors, “being female-led has provided countries with an advantage in the current crisis”.
Jon Henley reported that “among the datasets considered” for the study “were GDP, total population, population density and proportion of elderly residents, as well as annual health spending per head, openness to international travel and level of gender equality in society in general”.