Female Leadership during COVID-19: The Effectiveness of Diverse Approaches towards Mitigation Management during a Pandemic


This paper tackles the question of how female leaders at national levels of government managed COVID-19 response and recovery from the first COVID-19 case in their respective countries through to 30 September 2021. The aim of this study was to determine which COVID-19 mitigations were effective in lowering the viral reproduction rate and number of new cases (per million) in each of the fourteen female presidents' countries-Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Bolivia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Lithuania, New Zealand, Norway, Serbia, and Taiwan. We first compared these countries by finding a mean case rate (29,420 per million), mean death rate (294 per million), and mean excess mortality rate (+1640 per million). We then analyzed the following mitigation measures per country: school closing, workplace closing, canceling public events, restrictions on gatherings, closing public transport, stay-at-home requirements, restrictions on internal movement, international travel controls, income support, debt/contract relief, fiscal measures, international support, public information campaigns, testing policy, contact tracing, emergency investment in healthcare, investment in vaccines, facial coverings, vaccination policy, and protection of the elderly. We utilized the random forest approach to examine the predictive significance of these variables, providing more interpretability. Subsequently, we then applied the Wilcoxon rank-sum statistical test to see the differences with and without mitigation in effect for the variables that were found to be significant by the random forest model. We observed that different mitigation strategies varied in their effectiveness. Notably, restrictions on internal movement and the closure of public transportation proved to be highly effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Embracing qualities such as community-based, empathetic, and personable leadership can foster greater trust among citizens, ensuring continued adherence to governmental policies like mask mandates and stay-at-home orders, ultimately enhancing long-term crisis management.

Publication Title

International journal of environmental research and public health