2020 has been an unprecedented year by all means. The coronavirus pandemic brought the world to its feet, stalling how it generally functions.
However, there certainly are a few dynamic women world leaders that have made a massive impact on the world stage. They have given a new meaning to leadership, and have led by example, becoming forces to reckon with.
In this blog, we discuss four women world leaders that made news in 2020.
Angela Merkel – Chancellor of Germany
A scientist, Angela Merkel was very wary about the coronavirus and guided Germany to handling the pandemic better than other European nations. In fact, it was one of the nations that was successfully able to ward off the first wave of the pandemic.
In March 2020, she gave a passionate speech, asking the citizens of Germany to take the pandemic seriously. So impressive was her speech that it was selected as the ‘Speech of the Year’ by a panel of rhetoric experts.
Merkel was placed first on Forbes’ List of the 100 Most Powerful Women for 2020. It was the tenth consecutive year that Merkel took the number one spot on the list.
In November 2020, Merkel marked 15 years as Chancellor of Germany. Interestingly, her popularity has been intact and the public’s trust in her has only increased. She has, however, announced that she will step down as the Chancellor of the most powerful European nation when her current mandate runs out in 2021.
Jacinda Ardern – Prime Minister of New Zealand
One of the youngest world leaders, Jacinda Ardern, 40, was in news for all the good reasons in 2020. She has been a beacon of light with her decisive and empathetic leadership, which also resulted in her party winning the general election in New Zealand in a landslide in October 2020, security her a second term. She also selected one of the most diverse cabinets that included New Zealand’s first indigenous female Foreign Minister and first gay Deputy Prime Minister.
She was also applauded throughout the world for her prompt and capable handling of the coronavirus pandemic. New Zealand has recorded one of the lowest death rates and has successfully fended off a second wave.
Recently, she led the nation to purchase enough COVID-19 vaccines to immunize all her citizens. Moreover, she announced that the surplus vaccines will be donated to the neighbouring countries.
Tsai Ing-wen – President of Taiwan
Tsai’s leadership during the coronavirus pandemic was widely seen as a global model. Because of Taiwan’s proximity to China, the effects of the pandemic could have been catastrophic. However, Tsai and her team were able to contain the virus very effectively with stringent plans that involved contact tracing, helping citizens to quarantine, and making masks available freely. In fact, there were also punishments for spreading misinformation about the pandemic.
The medical officials also held daily briefings to bring more transparency to the citizens.
In May 2020, she began her second term as President, buoyed by a record-high popularity among the Taiwanese.
In November, Kamala Harris shattered the glass ceiling by becoming the first woman, the first Black American, and the first Asian American to win the second highest office in the United States. Her victory gave a ray of hope to many American woman, especially of colour, to believe that American politics was not just a man’s world.
Are there any other women political leaders that have made a substantial positive difference to the world in 2020? Let us know in the comments section below.