Are the experiences of women handling tragic situations sanguinely and innovatively more effective, with more women engaged in high echelons? Are the leadership roles changing with more accountability and perseverance? In this piece, I will analyse how the ethics of care brought in global politics have proved to be efficient.
The year 2020 has come with many challenges and a huge catastrophic power. The pandemic caused by the deadly coronavirus in the early months of this year has created unrest in the whole world, leading to huge pressure and responsibility on the healthcare system. With the downgrading of the economy of countries, the task for each country is to save the lives of its citizens. Amidst all of this, we noticed a positive and effective role being played by women leaders in many parts of the world.
New Zealand, Germany, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway are some of the countries with women leaders at the top who, with their skilful, effective and compassionate leadership, have proved that ethics of care in political leadership can transform the way traditional leadership roles are managed. During the crisis, the experiences of women leaders, reflected in their actions, have drawn praises from the whole world.
New Zealand was effectively organised during the outbreak due to controlled and responsible plans and policies in place. Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, has been praised for her clear and bold approach towards flattening the curve. In a country of nearly five million people, only 22 deaths were reported during the first phase of this outbreak. And of course, it was the first country to announce the unlock from its first wave with zero active cases of COVID-19 on 8th June, 2020. This indeed was a great job done by her.
Similarly, Germany had lower death rates under the leadership of its leader, German Chancellor Angela Dorothea Merkel. Also a scientist, Merkel has been successful in her response as a leader to the virus. According to research, women tend to adopt a more transformational leadership style, which includes demonstrating compassion, care, concern, respect and equality. But men have a more transactional approach, which includes a more task-focused, achievement-oriented and directive style of management.
In Denmark as well, Mette Frederiksen was able to control the country of six million with continuous testing. The countries ruled by women leaders have comparatively performed better than those ruled by men. The role of women in managing the current situation is inspired by empathy and mutual trust, which is very much reflected in the ethics of care.
As Fiona Robinson argued, “Care is not only relevant to politics, but also to international affairs,” when she developed a “critical ethic of care”. Women have proved that their morality and rationality along with emotion has provided them with success in global affairs. The care and confidence with which they have handled this pandemic has truly inspired the world and has shown a new side of world leaders. This enhanced form of power seeks equality in every sphere — be it equality in resources, equality in politics, equality in healthcare, etc. With this equality, responsibilities will also be respected and these responsibilities will lead to the cultivation of ethical values.
There is a growing demand for the inclusion of more women in various sectors because of their contribution in an empowering way. There is a belief that if women take up responsibilities, society will emerge and flourish to nurture support and cooperation.