Opinion: Why We Need Women’s Leadership in the COVID-19 Response
Solving health emergencies like the coronavirus demands the best minds the world has to offer – including women
In February a now-infamous photo made its rounds on social media. Posted by US Vice President Mike Pence, the image, which showed the members of the US Coronavirus Taskforce, left many asking a single question: where are the women?
This isn’t just a question of parity, it’s urgently needed.
Solving health emergencies like COVID-19 demands the best minds the world has to offer – in health systems strengthening, therapeutic R&D and more. We know diverse teams lead to more innovation, and neglecting half the talent pool limits our ability to make life-saving choices.
Leaders dictate where funding and research goes, from vaccine development to social safety nets. Without women in these positions, subsequent decisions will not adequately address the hurdles women face.
Already, women comprise the bulk of the world’s frontline health workers, shouldering the burden of strenuous work, while increasing their own risk of infection. With the novel coronavirus, women have played a central role: take China, where 90 percent of the nurses and nearly half the doctors are female.
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