Las Jefas: Women Leading the Way During a Global Pandemic

By Marisa Rivera

The world has gone through a major shift in just a few months and so have we. It has been the first time, where the entire world has been shut down at the same time and for the same cause – The Coronavirus-19 Pandemic. As we watch every country deal with the pandemic, something stands out – the countries with the best coronavirus responses have one thing in common, women leaders – Las Jefas.

Angela Merkel from Germany, Mette Frederiksen from Denmark, Katrin Jakobsdóttir from Iceland, Sanna Marin from Finland, Jacinda Ardern from New Zealand, Erna Solberg from Norway and Tsai Ing-wen from Taiwan have all implemented measurements and put into place national plans quickly and effectively that has made their efforts successfully contain the coronavirus to a minimum. It is not pure coincidence that these countries led by women seem to be particularly successful in fighting the coronavirus. Female leadership is what the world needs now. These women have used their female leadership to deal with this global epidemic. These women have provided purpose, direction, compassion, empathy, and cautious and courageous leadership to drive their national direction. They have acted decisively and quickly, rather than reacted. They have focused on protecting lives rather than protecting profits. They have provided knowledge and information, rather than political rhetoric, fear and blaming others for their own faults. They have spoken with their heart and demonstrated compassion, and empathy rather than egocentric and fear base points of view.

People want to hear the truth, even if it is not pretty. All these world leaders gave information to their countrymen and women and children early on, on how serious and dangerous this virus potentially could be, and people listen. They began providing testing right away to all their citizens, not only the people with active symptoms. They began early self-isolation and banning foreigners from entering their country like Jacinda Ardern in New Zealand. They have instituted thorough tracking systems, like in Iceland, or speaking to their country’s children via TV, explaining to children why it was OK to feel scared, so beautifully done by Norway’s prime minister, Erna Solberg. They have used technology and social media to directly speak to the people.

I see Las Jefas leadership everywhere. I see it in our global leaders, in our nurses at the hospitals, in our first responders, in our cleaning crews and restaurant servers to the lady selling handmade masks around the corner. The originality, the human connection, their quick response, their actions, their empathy, and compassion pouring out of these leaders is what the world needs now. This is a war that is not fought with arms, but with LOVE, human kindness, determination, and action. All the qualities women leaders have. We need new leadership to deal with the new era of global threats. This global pandemic has revealed that women’s leadership has what it takes when the real humanitarian crisis arises. These leaders have given us a refreshing way of dealing with crisis and an alternative to strong-handed, totalitarian manly ways of leading. It is time we recognize that Las Jefas strong and caring leadership works, and we should elect more of them to lead our countries and our causes!