HomeLearning CenterCountries Led by Women Reported Fewer COVID-19 Deaths in 2020 than Those Led by Men

Countries Led by Women Reported Fewer COVID-19 Deaths in 2020 than Those Led by Men

Countries with female leaders reported 40 per cent fewer COVID-19 deaths in 2020, than countries governed by men, according to a new study from the University of Queensland.

The findings come as part of a larger study that looked at the impacts that characteristics such as leadership had on a nation’s COVID-19 infection and death rates.

The study revealed that alongside female leadership, the strength of legal systems, and public trust in government, significantly reduced infection rates and deaths.

These latest UQ findings are consistent with a previous study of 34 developed countries, which found female leaders resulted in better COVID-19 control outcomes. 

According to the UN, 26 women currently serve as Heads of State and/or Government in 24 countries.

Prominent leaders who made headlines for their swift actions during the pandemic include Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan, Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand, Katrín Jakobsdóttir of Iceland and Mette Frederiksen of Denmark.

Associate Professor Kelvin Tan from UQ’s Business School, attributes the lower number of covid deaths in countries with female leadership to these leaders “… taking quick and decisive action, a broader view of the wider impact on society and being more receptive to innovative thinking.”

“We found female leaders tend to act promptly and decisively and are more risk-averse towards the loss of human life, which play an essential role in pandemic prevention and outcomes,” Dr Tan said.

Women’s Agenda

Read the findings here

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