Nations may be safer under women
By Nicholas Kristof
Are female leaders better at fighting a pandemic? I compiled death rates from the coronavirus for 21 countries around the world, 13 led by men and eight by women. The male-led countries suffered an average of 214 coronavirus-related deaths per million inhabitants. Those led by women lost only one-fifth as many, 36 per million.
If the United States had the coronavirus death rate of the average female-led country, 102,000 American lives would have been saved out of the 114,000 lost.
“Countries led by women do seem to be particularly successful in fighting the coronavirus,” noted Anne W. Rimoin, an epidemiologist at UCLA. “New Zealand, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Norway have done so well perhaps due to the leadership and management styles attributed to their female leaders.”
Let’s start by acknowledging that there have been plenty of wretched female leaders over the years.
Indeed, according to research I once did for a book, female leaders around the world haven’t been clearly better than male counterparts even at improving girls’ education or reducing maternal mortality.