Why Are Women World Leaders Combating the Coronavirus Pandemic So Well–and What Does This Tell Us About Leadership?

With the world caught in the vortex of the pandemic, it’s clear that some of the best results to date have occurred in countries that have elected women as their leaders. Indeed, an article in The Guardian bore this headline:

“The Secret Weapon in the Fight Against Coronavirus: Women.”

I find this phenomenon intriguing and have been wondering what lessons might emerge to help us going forward. There seem to be several commonalities among these women.

First, Let’s Look at Some of the Notable Success Stories.

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Tsai Ind-Wen, President, Taiwan

There’s Tsai Ing-Wen, who was elected President of Taiwan in 2016. Although Taiwan is close to mainland China, where the virus first surfaced and rampaged, her rapid actions resulted in fewer than 400 confirmed cases and six deaths out of a population of about 24 million people. 

Working with her vice president, an epidemiologist, she ordered all planes from Wuhan inspected when she first heard about the virus in December. She then restricted flights from Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau, created an epidemic command center, and increased production of personal protective equipment (PPE).

These efforts were so successful that Taiwan has actually been donating masks to the US and 11 European countries.

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Katrin Jakobsdottir, PM, Iceland

Katrin Jakobsdottir, Prime Minister of Iceland, has overseen testing of nearly 12% of her country’s population, a much greater percentage than any other country. She’s done so by collaborating with a biotech company that offers free tests to anyone who wants one—regardless of whether they have symptoms or believe they’ve been exposed to the virus. Iceland also does in-depth contact tracing to locate and isolate people who may have been exposed.

Although there hasn’t been a countrywide lockdown, they’ve banned gatherings of more than 20 people. I’m assuming that with a population of just over 364,000, that degree of testing and tracing inspires some confidence that greater restrictions aren’t needed.

In fact they’ve screened five times the number of people as South Korea. As of April 17, Iceland had 1,739 known cases, with eight deaths.

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Sanna Marin, PM, Finland

Sanna Marin, Prime Minister of Finland, is the youngest female leader in the world, at age 34, and has a largely female cabinet. Finland recently increased its testing capacity by 50% and began nationwide antibody testing.

With a population of about 5.5 million, Finland has seen 3,489 cases and 75 deaths. According to The Christian Science Monitor, a Finnish Broadcast reporter said:

“Her performance at press conferences and in parliament has been just what works best for Finns–clear, concise, unemotional; but with an undertone of warmth.”  

A recent poll showed that 85% of Finns approve of Marin’s handling of the pandemic.

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Erna Solberg, PM, Norway

Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway, announced recently that the contagion curve has been sufficiently leveled so that her country “has managed to gain control of the virus.” She began lifting the strict controls by reopening some businesses and kindergartens. The known incidence in Norway, with a population of nearly 5.4 million, is 6,905 cases and 157 deaths.

Solberg has followed the scientists’ advice in her actions and comforted her people: she said in a news conference that “It’s okay to be scared,” and that she missed hugging her friends, words she felt were especially important for young people to hear.

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Jacinda Ardern, PM, New Zealand

Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, closed the borders immediately, prepared people for self-quarantine, and implemented widespread testing; to date, there have been 1300 cases and just one death in a population of 4.8 million people. The fact that New Zealand is an island has been a factor in her success, but Ardern has also received high marks for the clarity of her leadership and her compassion.

She’s appeared in streaming videos at home, reassured kids that she counts the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny as “essential workers,” and announced that she and her cabinet would take 20 percent pay cuts for six months. She’s been said to demonstrate that a head of state can actually lead with both resolve and kindness.” 

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Angela Merkel, Chancellor, Germany

And then there’s Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany. There have been more than 148,000 infections among its 83 million people, but very low deaths per million (fewer than 5000 as of April 17)—considerably lower than other European countries. Germany has the most large-scale testing program in Europe and the most intensive care beds.

Merkel’s popularity has skyrocketed because she’s handled the crisis so well. She told the public:

“I’m absolutely sure we will overcome this crisis. But how many casualties will there be? How many loved ones will we lose?…We are a community in which every life and every person counts.” 

A Guardian account reported:

“As one wag on Twitter joked: if you’re asking why death rates are so low in Germany and so high in America, it’s ‘because their president used to be a quantum chemist and your president used to be a reality television host.”

Merkel, whose title is chancellor, has a doctorate in quantum chemistry.

Why Have These Women Been So Successful?

According to The Guardian reporter,

“Correlation is obviously not causation. Being a woman doesn’t automatically make you better at handling a global pandemic. Nor does it automatically make you a better leader; suggesting it does reinforces sexist and unhelpful ideas that women are innately more compassionate and cooperative.

“What is true, however, is that women generally have to be better in order to become leaders…held to far higher standards than men…you have to be twice as good as a man in order to be taken half as seriously. You have to work twice as hard.”

It seems fairly obvious that what makes a successful leader is a combination of strength, effective decision-making, and compassion. That doesn’t necessarily describe a woman.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s reputation has soared, despite the delay in aggressively confronting the threat, because his tough guy persona has been substantially softened by what appears to be genuine compassion. 

But the effective women leaders are the result of a specific environment, says Kathleen Gersen, a sociology professor at New York University.

“Female leaders are also likely to be nourished and supported within societies that themselves have a certain culture.”

For Gersen,

“If you have a political culture in which there’s a relative support and trust in the government, and it’s a culture that doesn’t make stark distinctions between women and men, you’ve already got a head start.” 

She also thinks that women who reach such lofty positions feel less tied to traditional methods of leading.

“There are so many ways that men are expected to behave when they’re leaders that I think it sometimes makes it difficult for them to step over those boundaries and act in a different way from the norm.” 

Though Gersen offers Governor Cuomo as an example of this breakthrough, we’ve seen one terrible—and several poor—examples of male leadership, or lack thereof, that involved differing from the norm. 

These bad examples show us in the negative why the ways the women have acted have been successful. 

In fact, the pandemic forces leaders to face the vastness of unknowns, so they must rely on their inner strengths and creativity more than on existing norms. They have acted promptly and forcefully.

They have also sought expert advice and relied upon the science. And, importantly, they have brought along the people they serve by communicating with them with honesty, clarity, and compassion.

Looking Forward…

If, Gersen says, women leaders can demonstrate that strength and compassion are not conflicting traits—that they actually complement one another and are both essential for good leadership,

“I think not only will society benefit. but so will men. Maybe then we can begin to open up the scripts for roles that leaders play”—regardless of gender. 

What do you think? Women presently make up only 25% of the world’s leaders, but they’ve been the shining lights in this darkest of times.

Do you agree with Kathleen Gersen’s belief that women succeed where there’s relative support and trust in government and not the stark distinctions between men and women?

If so, what does that assessment say about our future in the US—or wherever else you, my thoughtful readers, reside?

Annie

42 thoughts on “Why Are Women World Leaders Combating the Coronavirus Pandemic So Well–and What Does This Tell Us About Leadership?

  1. Excellent and inciteful post as always, Annie. I think a willingness to learn and adapt to a dynamic situation has never been more important. Pretending that you have all the answers and have done from the start, as some of our more vocal leaders have done, doesn’t seem to me to inspire confidence.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Matthew. I think your leader, while not as dreadful as ours, certainly didn’t act in ways that inspire confidence. I don’t know whose advice he was taking—or did he, too, think he had all the answers?

      Like

  2. Gersen’s belief that women succeed where there’s more trust in government and less gender distinction is logical and would seem to explain places like Northern Europe. But in other places where women have become heads of state — Pakistan, a number of countries in Latin America and Central Africa — I’m not sure the criteria hold. I’d be curious to probe further. The US is similar to the European democracies, but with less trust in government and more traditional gender distinctions (at least compared to the northern countries at play here — Germany, Iceland, Norway). I think Gersen’s metric holds here, as these factors make the US a bit more challenging for female leaders than in Germany or Norway, but still do-able. (Hillary did get the most votes.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree that Gersen’s thesis is more problematic in other parts of the world, where sometimes issues of class, family, etc, are involved. And there’s Myanmar, where so much hope has become so distorted.
      I wonder how the US attitudes about government will be changed by the pandemic: I hope that there’s greater recognition, and thus development—of a safety net. And with that sense will be a recognition of talent, compassion, and leadership skills that will remove questions of whether a woman can be elected president.

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  3. How great! What a treat to read of these remarkable women. As to your question about more trust in government and less gender distinction . . . as you well know, we certainly don’t have that here in the US. What would have happened if Hillary took it? What if Michelle chose to run (as if)? (Why do I think it’s okay to call them by their first names? Then again, Bernie is Bernie . . . ) Agree with Daedalus Lex. Curious to learn more.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. We also call Biden “Joe.”
      The issue of whether we have it here—or whether we will post-pandemic—was what drew me to pursue the phenomenon.
      Please see my response to Daedalus above for a bit more of my thinking.

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  4. My knee-jerk impulse is to reject racial, ethnic or gender explanations for just about anything. You want women in power? Want to try Sarah Palin, anyone? Or the governor of South Dakota refusing to issue a stay at home order even though her state has one of the biggest outbreaks of the virus? It is certain that these particular countries (Iceland, Norway, Germany, etc.) have leaders who stepped up to the plate. But none of them compare with the amazing job Putin has done in Russia (fewer than 600 REPORTED deaths ), and he’s no woman. But he knows how to keep the death count down…you just don’t count.

    Are there any nations with male leaders who have done a pretty good job? (S Korea and Canada come to mind immediately). Japan was doing pretty good for awhile.

    Would Hillary Clinton have done a better job than Mr Trump in combating the virus? Of course she would have. Would Jocko the one-eyed chimp done a better job than Mr Trump? Yes, even on his worst day .

    Is it the fact that these leaders are women that is the key issue? Or is is the fact that the people of these nations saw fit to ignore gender and simply put the best person in power? Or is it that people in these nations trust in their leaders and so acted more responsibly as a collective?

    It would be sexist of me to conclude that any female is inherently more able or less able than any male for any particular task. Still…when you look at these leaders one is reminded of the tune from the Broadway hit, “Annie Get Your Gun.”

    Annie:
    Anything you can do, I can do better.
    I can do anything better than you.
    Frank: No you can’t.
    Annie: Yes, I can.
    Frank: No, you can’t.
    Annie: Yes, I can.
    Frank: No, you can’t.
    Annie: Yes, I can, Yes, I can

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Joseph, I thought it was clear that the point was that these women happened to be the best—and that these nations saw and recognized talent. But it is also clear that in many parts of the world, compassion is viewed as unmanly. That doesn’t mean we can’t have compassionate male leaders—Obama was the most recent example. Neither Gersen nor I is asserting that ANY female is inherently more or less able than ANY male. But in the Democratic primary, there were lots of people who told pollsters “Of course I would vote for a woman, but I’m worried my neighbors won’t, so I won’t back the person I think would make the best President.” With that thinking—among both men and women—we are surely depriving ourselves of some very fine leadership simply because they are women. To me, that’s undeniable.
      And this Annie is a strong advocate of sensible gun legislation, so your Broadway reference is irrelevant on that score (triple pun intended!) as well.

      Like

      1. Yep. I could never understand people saying that Americans would not vote for a woman for president. In the last election the people DID vote for a woman for president. I guess what they really mean is that the majority in the key swing states would not vote for a woman, but I doubt that, too. By the way, I think Annie was a legal, careful gun owner. A real straight shooter.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Note from Annie: The comment below is from my friend Charles Franz, who took the time to ponder this post but was prevented by a technical glitch from inserting it himself. I understand other bloggers are hearing the same thing. Most distressing! Please let me know via Contact if you have experienced this problem, and I’ll bring it to the attention of the powers that be.
        ___________________________________________-

        These leaders’ times are now. They all come from strong democratic countries with health care as an major focus of their laws and constitutions. They all have in place a type of universal health care to protect their citizens during best of times and are prepared to do the same during the worst of times.

        After that and the obvious they are all female, they are from diverse backgrounds. I would think, but do not know, they may have had a strong female figure in their lives or at least someone that impressed upon them their ability to break through what could had been barriers. In their lives, schooling and careers I am fairly sure they worked harder to achieve equal to less than those of the opposite gender.

        Their ideologies are not specifically the same. Erna Solberg is very conservative. However, that does not mean though she is so strong, as she seems, that she does not understand empathy and loss.

        Maybe in raising children from infancy and not being in political offices competing has helped them be more empathetic towards needs of those less powerful.

        Saving lives and sacrificing some immediate and future economic progress shows their understanding of the immediate over the future. Their ability to struggle though a very difficult and tragic episode in their countries shows they are willing to work in the present and not just consider their political futures.

        They all are straight talking, pull no punches, promise the path taking is difficult and uncertain, but also the best for all and remain positive their citizens will succeed though they know some will not make it out of it alive.

        The other thing I note, they all except one, are the leaders of smaller or more remote (islands) countries. Except for Angela Merkel of west Germany. She alone leads a powerful, large and somewhat diverse country that has led in many ways in technology, science and manufacturing. She as all of these other leaders is smart. However, she also has the experience to know what could happen without her strong leadership.

        I remember back in 2009 as the world economy was tanking I was having a conversation with a co-worker. He was impressed with how Germany and Merkel kept their unemployment low (it only dipped 1% in 2009-2010) compared to other countries by having their companies cut hours and not jobs.

        I did point out that though he was impressed by that, he was not so supportive of Germany then offering economic support for those that were falling short of paying their way and also having in place universal health care so their citizens were able to keep from falling through safety nets.

        Reacting to an emergency with little preparation in the fabric of a society shows the difference between what we are going through with high infection and death rates and those ready to protect their people.

        Conservatives avoid affordable health care like it is a plague. Now we see the results. A plague.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I don’t know if a study has been done to determine the number of people who vote against women simply because they’re women, but the results of such a study would be interesting. Of course, misogyny is not just an us vs. them phenomenon (think of Phyllis Schafly, who successfully led the campaign against the Equal Rights Amendment), but no doubt there many people of both sexes who simply can’t bring themselves to choose a women over a man for a leadership position–even if the man is someone as incompetent as Donald Trump. Annie, here’s hoping that the information you’ve detailed in this post is spread far and wide.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. As an aside on the “us vs them” thing, we need to be vigilant not to turn it into “men vs. women” issue. (No one here is doing that, but it’s always a risk.) When women and men who favor gender equality stand together, we make a strong voting bloc. Those who are against women’s rights would like nothing better than to drive a wedge between women and men who would stand with them on gender equality. The real fault line is ideology, not body type. In party terms, lets face it, a large majority of male and female Democrats favor of maintaining women’s hard-earned rights to the point of full equality, and a majority of Republicans are chipping away at those rights in every state legislature (and US, but most damage is at the state level currently).

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Thank you, Gail. My daughters’ first experience with nonviolent political protest occurred when we took them to picket Phyllis Schlafly when she was crusading against the ERA, which she didn’t succeed in killing forever. I think opposition to women candidates showed up on the part of well-meaning people during the Democratic primaries, as I mentioned in my response to Joseph.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I suspect there’s also the possibility of two correlated tendencies being linked by a third factor which is causative to both of them.

    Countries that are willing to choose women as leaders are likely to be very socially advanced (the examples listed in your post illustrate this). Countries which are socially advanced are also likely to be technologically advanced and well-educated — traits which help them respond effectively to a crisis of this type.

    In the case of the US, of course, it’s clearly the qualities of the leadership which have been decisive — if our handling of this problem has been uniquely terrible, it’s because Trump is uniquely incompetent. We would certainly be dealing with it a lot better if Hillary were president — which, of course, is what the majority of voters in 2016 voted for, only to be thwarted by the Electoral College.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think your point about the countries choosing talented women leaders being very socially advanced is largely true, though there are probably exceptions.
      I certainly agree that Hillary would have known what to do—and she would have received and acted upon guidance from the Pandemic office that trump dismantled, and all the other scientific advice he’s scoffed at. And now he’s removed a key player in the NIH vaccine development effort for opposing his fixation with unproven treatments. Good grief!
      On a more pleasant note, thank you for mentioning my voting post on your blog. I got a nice bunch of visitors as a result.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for this informative post, Annie! I loved reading about these strong female leaders. The more we see and hear and share news about them, the more we will encourage people to see women as potential political leaders.
    Most people now would say they believe in equality for men and women, but often our bias runs so much deeper.
    I think about myself – in 2015 Trudeau made a point of selecting 50% female cabinet ministers. When he was asked why, he said, “because it’s 2015.” I thought that was amazing. So many men I know and worked with were angry. Professional, educated men said things like, “people should get things based on merit, not their gender.” I always replied, “hmm, that’s funny, because a whole lot of men have been getting things based on gender for a very long time now.”
    Anyway, the actual point of my rambling here was that there I was, in my late 30’s, an accomplished professional, and I remember watching those women in Trudeau’s cabinet and thinking, “Wow! Maybe I could do that someday!!”
    I was raised to believe that males and females should have equal opportunity, equal pay, equal access to education, etc. But when push came to shove, I realized that I had never truly seen myself as someone who could be in a political leadership position. Because I was female.
    So keep sharing these stories!! Female leaders, diverse leaders, we need to see them in order to see ourselves in them. And challenge the biases we didn’t even know we had.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, good for you, Janine! I like your “hmmm, that’s funny…” response. I don’t think even very enlightened men realize how tough it is for women in politics in many places, including the US. And when women of color enter the political arena—that requires some real inner fortitude!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Gee all these comments and no mention yet of Margaret Thatcher or Golda Meir? 🙂

    I appreciate this tour of some of today’s female leaders. You raise a great question, about whether there has to be a specific kind of society to support women in the highest offices. While you and I would probably differ on *which* female leader might be best for our country, you will get no dispute from me that a woman is just as capable as a man when it comes to serving in our country’s highest offices.

    I found it interesting that with as many women as were in the Democratic primaries none got any further than they did. I find it interesting to watch some of the upcoming generation. Personally, I would love to see Nikki Haley on a national ballot some time.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I also thought of Thatcher and Meir. But they are no longer in power. Also thought about Bhutto, Gandhi, Eva Peron, etc. In the past many women leaders were in power because they were part of a ruling family, not on their merits. Thatcher and Meir are exceptions. I suppose you could consider Golda Myerson the first “American ” woman leader of a nation, since she was raised in the USA and later changed her name to make it more “Jewish” sounding. She moved back to Palestine and spent her life trying to get a homeland for the Jews.Thatcher was a woman who did raise herself from her “bootstraps” to become the first female UK PM. These women were exceptions, of course.
      It was interesting to see so many women in the Democratic Party run for president. Compare that to the GOP and you can see why the Democratic party is attractive to educated women (and men). Of course, in the past a woman HAS won the Democratic nomination, so that glass ceiling has already been shattered. Which means that any woman knows she has a shot with the Dems.
      I think (hope) for 90% of the people gender plays no role in the voting process. Who knows?

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Interesting that you mention Thatcher and Meir. My husband and I were talking about strong women leaders, and we discussed Thatcher (forgot about Meir). But if we’re considering compassion as an important trait, I’m not sure “the Iron Lady” qualifies, and I don’t recall Golda Meir being warm and fuzzy either.
    I can see why you would single out Nikki Haley. I was greatly impressed when she called for the removal of Confederate flags after the Mother Emanuel Church massacres, but then she claimed that her reason was that the flag that had been seen to symbolize “service, sacrifice, and heritage” had been “hijacked” by a white supremacist.
    She was artful in disengaging from the trump administration, but then she went all in as a trumpie when she didn’t have to —suggesting to me that she’s a mere political hack. Sorry…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think we have to be careful about “qualifying traits” when talking about female leaders. Doing so sends us into a different analysis, about what is the “right kind” of female leader, which implies that any woman who lacks a favored trait is not “authentic”. Compassion is one of those tricky concepts – Hillary Clinton never struck me as a particularly compassionate individual. Or do we mean her support of policies that most Democrats consider as compassionate, thus making her compassionate too?

      And Nikki Haley, imagine that – a politician acting like a politician! 🙂 I would argue that she did what politicians have to do, and in a skillful way – setting herself apart from many of her male counterparts.

      Taking the politics out of it, I thought that Amy Klobuchar was a much more skillful politician than was, say, Kamala Harris, who came off to me as the worst kind of hack. Which simply proves that some women can do the job more skillfully than others, just as is the case with the guys.

      Like

      1. I think I made clear in the post that I don’t believe compassion is restricted to women. But I think it’s something leaders need—especially at tough times like these.
        I’ve seen Hillary demonstrate her compassion on any number of occasions——before and during the campaign—and since.

        Like

      2. You make a good point about Hillary Clinton. She sometimes does not “seem” compassionate. Yet she was one of the main lobbyists for the CHIP program, giving health care to poor kids. As a law student she donated her time to legal aid, taking a role in a child abuse case. Her specialty after law school was child law, focusing on the rights of children. She worked as counsel for the Children’s Defense Fund. Later she founded a rape crisis center.
        So, while a lawyer may decide to practice any kind of law, I think it is fair to say that Clinton chose a path demonstrating compassion for children, the poor and relatively powerless women.
        But you are right, she does not “seem” compassionate. She is highly competent with little or no time for BS. Many women who are that way are seen as cold (see Thatcher, for example). That quality seems to be more acceptable in men.
        Clinton has always been an advocate for children and society’s responsibility to ALL children . (It Takes a village to raise a child concept).
        There are many areas of policy with which I disagree with Clinton, but her record on children is pretty clear. But she does come across as cold. But her record speaks otherwise.
        Such is the nature of politics. To “appear ” to be something often is more important in electoral politics than actually “being” that thing. On the other hand, Clinton did win the popular vote in all three elections in which she ran, so she must seem like a good candidate to most people.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. In addition to her deeds, which you outline well, I have seen her act very compassionately on any number of occasions.
        I realized that when I mentioned men who are clearly compassionate, I failed to mention one very obvious example who is critical to our National life now: Joe Biden.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I didn’t know that Angela Merkel has a doctorate in quantum chemistry! The Corona crisis has increased my respect for the Germans by many manifolds. They handled it quite well so far.
    Mamata Banarjee is the chief minister(CM) of the Indian state of West Bengal (WB). Infact WB is the only state with a woman CM. The state’s response to the pandemic has been pathetic. Low testing rates, throwing lockdown norms to the wind, political blame games, let us just say that the CM is handling the crisis very badly compared to other states in India.
    On the other hand, the health minister of the Indian state of Kerala-a woman is handling the crisis well and the state which had the most number of cases when the lockdown began has now a doubling rate of 70 days and low number of cases and shows signs of curve flattening.
    My humble conclusion being- it doesn’t matter if the leader is a man or a woman- what matters is whether they could identify a disinfectant from cough syrup.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ok! Glad to hear from you and to gain your perspective. And as you can see, by comparison to what we’re dealing with, even Mamata Banarjee would be an improvement!
      I’ve missed a couple of your reports, but I’ll pick up again shortly. Take good care of yourself. I’m so very pleased that you found my suggestion helpful.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The PM has very good public support in India. Even the opposition parties (read INC) praise the steps he has taken to contain this covid situation and that does not happen at all in India (Political parties here always oppose each other no matter how good the other party rules). The PM announced the lockdown when no one was expecting it and it is said that this is what stopped us from following the US and other Western nations pattern. Also the business giants say that the central government is taking enough measures to keep the economy afloat. However many critics accuse that the lockdown was announced without proper preparation- the migrant labourers, the farmers waiting for the rabi harvest- were all stranded. The lockdown saw one of the biggest reverse migrations in the history of India. Hundreds of thousands of labourers who lost their temporary jobs and left with no money travelled to their home state covering thousands of kilometres by foot. But, the government realised their initial mistakes and quickly formed an action plan and set up camps, shelters and food. It also released immediate relief funds for the poor. Food and other basic necessities is not a major concern in India as of now- since the country has enough produce in stock- also there is a ration system in place which offers food grains at very low rates – like 2 rupees for a kg of rice- even this price was removed and foodgrains and grocery kits were distributed free of cost to the poor.
        The general consensus is in favour of the PM, but everybody is concerned and anxiously waiting as to how he is going to increase the economic growth. Indias GDP growth was declining even in the pre-covid era due to some reforms by the current govt and it was forecasted that the country would gain an upward momentum only by 2021. But now nobody knows what is going to happen.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you so much for this detailed overview. It’s great to know that some leaders are doing good jobs in this terrible time. I so very much wish our government were showing even a semblance of concern for poor and dislocated people.
        Take good care of yourself, and let’s stay in touch.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I used to live in NZ and greatly admire Jacinda Ardern…. also a fan of Angela Merkel. Both countries have a well educated populace. Love the twitter about the reality show host and the quantum chemist!
    Yes we need more women in politics…. I often think how the world would be different if Clinton had won the electoral college votes.

    Liked by 1 person

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