Girl Power: Women Leaders' fight against Coronavirus
Women leaders from Germany to New Zealand, Iceland to Taiwan, Finland, Denmark, and Norway have immediately and effectively responded to the Coronavirus pandemic to help prevent the spread of the virus in their respective countries. These leaders have shown us why we need more women in leadership roles. Meet them below and see their active role in the fight against the virus.
Angela Merkel: German Chancellor
Angela Merkel's political career begun in 1990 after she won a seat in the Bundestag (House of Representatives) after which she slowly rose up the ranks until she was elected as the Chancellor in November 2005. During this crisis, Merkel informed her people about the seriousness of the virus in an official address to the nation urging people to support her by taking necessary precautions and assuring them that the government and health facilities were ready to tackle any arising cases. The country was hit hard by the virus with around 130,000 confirmed cases but a fatality rate of 1.6% as compared to Italy's 12% and France, UK and Spain's 10%. The low fatality rate is credited to early widespread testing and a large number of intensive care beds.
Jacinda Arden: New Zealand Prime Minister
Jacinda Arden has been in politics since she graduated from university and was once the world's youngest sitting MP in parliament in 2008. Jacinda was early to establish a lock-down and put the country on a maximum level of alert, imposing self-isolation on people entering New Zealand when the country had only recorded 6 cases of the virus. Soon after she banned the entry of foreign travelers and is still adding restrictions. This has greatly helped the country as it has reported 1,084 cases, 770 who have recovered and only 9 dead. The measures taken by Jacinda have clearly greatly contributed to their impressive statistics.
Tsai Ing-wen: President of Taiwan
Tsai has been present in Taiwan politics since the 1990s at one point being a trade policy adviser who greatly contributed to the successful negotiations held that made Taiwan join the World Trade Organization. Tsai was fast to introduce 124 measures at the sign of the Coronavirus in January that has contained the spread of the virus in Taiwan without having to go on lock-down. As of today, the country has reported a total of 395 cases, 155 who have recovered and only 6 who have died. Taiwan is currently exporting millions of masks to the US and Europe.
Katrín Jakobsdóttir: Iceland's Prime Minister
Katrín Jakobsdóttir was appointed as the second female Prime Minister in 2017. During this crisis, Katrín is offering free coronavirus testing to all Iceland citizens, unlike most countries that are only testing people with related symptoms. In proportion to its population, the country has reportedly tested 5 times as many people as South Korea which is said to have tested more than 300,000 people for free. This has made Iceland a major key in researching about spread and fatality rate of the virus. As of today, 1,727 cases have been reported with 1,077 recoveries and only 8 deaths.
Sanna Marin: Finland's Prime Minister
Sanna Marin is the world's youngest female Prime Minister at age 34 appointed in December 2019. Sanna began her political career at age 20 but was elected to the city council of Tampere when she was 27. Sanna spearheaded social media campaigns in Finland to ensure everyone has access to general information on coronavirus. Finland, as of today, has 3,161 reported cases with 61 deaths and around 300 recoveries.
Erna Solberg: Norway's Prime Minister
Erna Solberg has been in office since 2013 with a political career dating back to 1979. During this crisis, Erna used television media to talk to the children in her country to answer any questions that they had and reassure them of the measures being taken by the government. This is such a timeless act of empathy that children all over Norway will reminisce of in their adult years. As of today, there are 6,566 confirmed cases with 127 deaths.
Mette Frederiksen: Danish Prime Minister
Mette Frederiksen was elected last year to be Prime Minister but her political career dates back to 2001. During this crisis, Mette was among the first leaders to take action to prevent further spread of the virus. She has frequently kept her people informed through press conferences and also organized a website where Danish people receive news and information about the virus. Denmark has 6,511 cases of the virus and 299 dead so far but daily new low infection rates are prompting the country to ease back to normalcy in the next coming weeks.
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