COVID-19 Response: Why We Need Women’s Leadership

COVID-19 Response: Why We Need Women’s Leadership

More than 70% of worldwide healthcare professionals are females. Clearly, we need more women in crisis response task-forces formed by governments and organizations worldwide.

The entire world is currently facing a crisis perhaps unprecedented in the history of mankind. The COVID-19 or the novel coronavirus has literally grasped the entire world under its deadly hold, with thousands of deaths being reported from across the globe on a daily basis. While the deadly effect of the virus has not been limited to any particular country, gender, or religion, it is often debated that women are more hard-hit by the virus than their male counterparts.

The reason behind such a debate is manifold, but all of them prompt a single thing – the requirement of women leaders across sectors to effectively and efficiently fight the novel coronavirus. In this article, we shall shed some of the reasons behind the need for women leadership in the global COVID-19 response:

Women Constitute A Massive Chunk Of The Frontline Health Workers

According to a research paper published by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Gender Equity in Health Workforce, women constitute nearly 70% of the entire global workforce. 

In short, the frontline crusaders in the war against COVID 19 mostly comprises of women. 

In fact, not only outside, but women also cater to three-times more unpaid care-taking work at home compared to the men. 

Needless to say, the impact of COVID-19 on womenfolk is much stronger than on men. While these are the issues that are largely being written across digital media now, not many governments are putting in enough effort to safeguard the needs of their respective women workforce. 

After all, women constitute just 7% of the total number of heads of state.

The Payment Disparity Persists Even During The Pandemic

Another reason that pinpoints the need for women leadership while fighting the coronavirus pandemic is the pay-disparity that exists across the world between the two genders. 

As with most sectors, women get lesser pay in the healthcare sector too.

Naturally, women are more likely to be affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Prolonged Quarantine Often Directly Proportional To Rising Domestic Violence

We are amidst a situation when literally the entire world is locked down. 

Apart from emergency services, not many people are venturing out of their houses. This situation of quarantine, often eulogized by many, has created a tense atmosphere in many homes, where domestic violence is common. And in most of such cases, women are victims. 

Yes, some countries like France have taken active steps in curbing domestic violence, but cases are rampant across the world with not many countries even bothered to acknowledge the same.

Unmanly Hours At Emergency Services Sans Requisite Hygiene

The majority of coronavirus task forces across the world comprises of men as opposed to the majority of females in the healthcare force; not much has been done to improve the hygienic conditions that female health workers have to live. 

The unmanly hours at work (which is understandable now) should come with basic resting places and good menstrual hygiene supplies. In 2019, the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board along with WHO and the World Bank Group had urged the inclusion of more women leaders as an important part of their preparedness effort. Essentially, the inclusion of more women brings in a better mix of leadership qualities and skills, which is required right now to combat all adversaries – right from healthcare and social to financial. However, just a few months later during analyses of the current prevalent situation, it has become amply clear that the least has been done to bring more women to the decision-making chair.