Women are inspiring the fight against Coronavirus. Lets celebrate them

The evidence speaks for itself – there is a woman’s face behind every small achievement and inspirational story that has come out in the last couple of months after the Covid-19 pandemic took over our lives.

Perhaps it is because women are good at crisis management and damage control.  Perhaps it is the feminine leadership traits of empathy, love, decisiveness, to-the-point communication are helping.

Even though women are suffering an immeasurable rise in their care burden and household chores; even though they are getting abused and beaten up behind locked-down doors, even though they are losing the larger proportion of jobs thanks to the economic deceleration – it is quite clear that it is women who are going to steer the ship.

Here’s why I say that – 

Women are saving lives at the front line – Women make up 70% of health force globally. It has been estimated that women make up nearly nine out of 10 nurses and nursing assistants, most respiratory therapists, a majority of pharmacists and an overwhelming majority of pharmacy aides and technicians.  

Women Heads of State are handling the crisis in their countries much better than the Male Leaders – At a time when all eyes are on the political leadership and their ability to take decisive and inclusive remedial measures while also communicating clearly to their citizens, “several female world leaders have won recognition as voices of reason amid the corona virus pandemic. They have attracted praise for effective messaging and decisive action, in stark contrast to the bombastic approaches of several of the world’s most prominent male leaders – including some who face criticism for early fumbles that fueled the spread of the virus” (The Washington Post)

New Zealand’s PM Jaccinda Ardern is being seen as “The Most Effective Leader on the Planet” for her leadership style of empathy and clear, consistent and “somehow simultaneously sobering and soothing” messages – a style that is showing clear results. Ardern took the bold stance of not only implementing a strategy of suppression but one of total elimination of the coronavirus. Now there are no new cases in New Zealand, even though lock down has been opened up. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and several other Female Leaders have also led from the front and have shown great crisis management abilities (See details in this Forbes article and its sequel)

Closer home, Ms Mamata Banerjee – the only female Chief Minister currently in Office, has stood out for transforming herself into “an able administrator with a humane touch” and has been lauded for undertaking several innovative administrative measures in her State.

Kerala’s Health Minister K.K. Shailaja has been praised for her proactive crisis planning even before the 1st case had shown up in the country – and has played a big part in the state’s flattening of the curve

In India, it is Women who are innovating and helping the community

  • Minal Dakhave Bhosale  developed the country’s first Covid19 test kid, right before going into deliver a baby. 
  • Barkha Dutt is the only journalist being hailed for her on-ground reporting of the crisis, travelling across the country
  •  IAS officer Srijana Gummalla who returned to work from her maternity break just after a month and came to office with her newborn baby. 
  • Mahita Nagaraj, a digital marketing professional and single mum, was the one who started Caremongers India, an online collective of volunteers who are reaching out to help the elderly and other vulnerable groups. 
  • Women Self Help Groups in India have risen to the extraordinary challenge of the pandemic – they are meeting shortfalls in masks, sanitizers and protective equipment, running community kitchens, fighting misinformation and even providing banking and financial solutions to far-flung communities.
  • Priyanka Chopra announced she will donate $100,000 along with the organisation BON V!V Spiked Seltzer to the women out there who are working for the betterment of society amid the corona virus pandemic. On Instagram she posted “If you know a woman we should highlight, visit the link in my bio for next steps”
  • Indian Women’s Hockey Team raised over Rs 20 lakh to feed poor and migrant workers whose livelihood have been affected. They crowdfunded the resources for the Charity Uday Foundation via an 18-day fitness challenge over social media.  

What’s increasingly clear that women are dealing with crisis more proactively and effectively. It is undeniable that we need women’s leadership in the Covid-19 response. 

If you have more inspirational stories, please do share them at shravani.prakash@ellenomics.in