It is our overall assessment that several women leaders have handled the response to the corona pandemic very well. Thus, they break the general stereotype that some people still have, that men are better leaders than women, in crises and in peace.

Taiwan, Germany and New Zealand all have women in charge at the top. President Tsai Ing-wen (63), elected in 2016, is doing well in her job. In Taiwan, close to China and Wuhan where the pandemic started, many thought that a population of about 24 million and a density of 650 per sq km would be hard hit. But the Tsai-administration has proven the predictions wrong. It has only had about 400 cases and is now considered corona-free, or close to it. Now, it is able to supply other countries with face masks and other equipment. It is also worth noting that when Taiwan responded to the pandemic it did not introduce a total lockdown; unlike all or most countries in the world, it even kept schools and markets open.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (39) has also been successful in her rapid and resolute handling of the corona pandemic. New Zealand has a low death rate; of the 1500 infected, 1300 have recovered. Some believe that New Zealand could be so successful due to a small population of five million living on a large territory made up of relatively small cities and towns; population density is only about 19 per sq km. It is an island country like Taiwan. New Zealand is currently almost corona-free.

Germany is also led by a woman, Chancellor Angela Merkel (65), and has been more successful in its handling of the Corona pandemic than many other countries, including nearby Belgium, Netherlands, France, Italy, Spain and the UK. The death rate of infected people in those countries has been around ten percent, while in German it has been quite a bit under two percent. The main factor of the low death rate in German is mainly caused by good hospital care for the seriously ill, including enough intensive care units. It all happened under a competent woman’s leadership and administration.

In Finland, Denmark and Iceland, the young women leaders, Sanna Marin (34), Mette Frediksen (42) and Katrin Jakobsdottir (44) have done very well in their handling of the Corona pandemic, having managed to control it, indeed with massive measures of lockdown and border closures; in Finland, the populous capital area of Helsinki was sealed off for some time. The experienced Norwegian prime minister of Norway, Erna Solberg (59), has also led the country well during the corona pandemic, cooperating with the opposition parties. Norway has also implemented stern measures, which has led to a low number of fatal cases (about 230) and a low infection rate. With a strong economy, Norway would also be able to open up and rebuild well after the crisis, something that other countries may have greater difficulties in doing.

But even in countries were the results have been good thus far, we do not know for certain how the spread of the disease will be in the longer run when the lockdown and restrictions are lifted. There could be one or more new waves of the pandemic and the need for repeated stern measures, even lockdown, which would be very costly socially and indeed economically, and maybe not possible to implement.

The corona pandemic is still a very serious pandemic and threat to health and life on our planet. WHO has just announced that the pandemic may be with us for very long, even for good, and like many other diseases in the world, it can only be controlled by vaccination and medicines. Or as the case is with AIDS and other chronic illnesses, medicines that can allow people to continue living a fairly normal life and have an acceptable life expectancy.

We believe that women leaders are often better than men, yes, during the corona pandemic and in taking decisions about how to search for ways of handling it over time, including finding a vaccine and treatment. Perhaps women have a better grip on care than men have, and on administration in general? If that is so, it is sad that it took men so long to give women the right to vote and sit around the cabinet table and hold other posts at all levels outside the home. As leaders everywhere deal with the current pandemic and vaccine and cure, and also rebuild our societies after the crisis, there are a lot of things that can and must be done differently. Women and men can together make the world better for all in future, better than it was in the past, in a world that was mainly designed by men.