Does the Guardian’s love of female leaders survive the data?

The Guardian reports:

On 1 April, the prime minister of Sint Maarten addressed her nation’s 41,500 people. Coronavirus cases were rising, and Silveria Jacobs knew the small island country, which welcomes 500,000 tourists a year, was at great risk: it had two ICU beds.

Jacobs did not want to impose a strict lockdown, but she did want physical distancing observed. So she spelled it out: “Simply. Stop. Moving,” she said. “If you don’t have the bread you like in your house, eat crackers. Eat cereal. Eat oats. Eat … sardines.”

The 51-year-old Caribbean premier may not have the global profile of Angela Merkel or Jacinda Ardern, but her blunt message exemplified firm action, effective communication – and showed another female leader getting the job done.

From Germany to New Zealand and Denmark to Taiwan, women have managed the coronavirus crisis with aplomb. Plenty of countries with male leaders – Vietnam, the Czech Republic, Greece, Australia – have also done well. But few with female leaders have done badly.

The following countries have female leaders. This is their death rate per million population.

  • Belgium 576
  • Sint Maarten 280
  • Denmark 70,
  • Germany 69
  • Norway 37
  • Finland 32
  • Iceland 29
  • Barbados 21
  • Serbia 16
  • Bolivia 4
  • New Zealand 4
  • Taiwan 0.3
  • Bangladesh 0.8
  • Myanmar 0.09

Belgium has the 2nd highest death rate in the world. I’d say that is doing badly. The global average death rate is 25 so seven countries with female leaders are above that and seven below that.

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