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In these difficult days we need leadership and leadership that we can trust and look to for…well leadership.

In the UK our Prime Minister is back to work today after three weeks of dealing with and recovering from Covid-19. He was at one stage gravely ill and required to be in the Intensive Care unit in hospital. He is an example of how this virus can affect us all – status is no protection. I don’t want to criticise Boris for his approach to dealing with the crisis – I think he has learned that lesson the hard way. Or at least I hope and pray he has. Our stats are population 66 million – covid-19 deaths to date 20,731

What of other world leaders?

The USA – nope, not even going to go there. Sorry my dear American friends. I have no printable words for how I feel about your President right now. But the stats are population 328 million – covid-19 deaths 55, 417

Besuch Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel im Rathaus Köln 

© Raimond Spekking / CC BY-SA 4.0 (via Wikimedia Commons),

Germany – now you are talking. A population of 83 million compared to 66 million in the UK. Germany have experienced 5976 deaths to coronavirus compared with 20,732 in the UK. (figures current on 27.04.20) That is a staggering difference. Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, has been highly praised for her handling of the situation. Her calm, straightforward, science based approach has meant that people trust her. That and the fact she has a Doctorate in science. The figures speak for themselves. 6000 deaths is still a whole lot of grief and sadness but it testimony to the German approach that is it not more.

New Zealand – ok confession, girl crush. Jacinda Arden oozes confidence and empathy.

Jacinda_Ardern_in_Dunedin_(cropped)

Ministry of Justice of New Zealand / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

Her country has had very few covid-19 deaths. Today they reported no new cases – effectively they have eliminated the virus for now. So ok it’s a small country with a population of 5 million but with only 19 deaths (at the time of writing) you have to ask what have they done that others failed to do? The answer seems quite simple a complete shut down early on. And good leadership.

Taiwan – population 24 million – covid-19 deaths 6 – yes – 6.

Norway – population 5.36 million – covid-19 deaths 201

Iceland – population 364 thousand – covid-19 deaths 10

Denmark – population 5.8 million – covid-19 deaths 422

And what have Germany, New Zealand, Taiwan, Norway, Iceland and Denmark have in common? They have women leaders.

I am not saying that this is the only reason these countries are doing comparatively better, but it does beg the question, are women better in a crisis? These statistics are telling.

What response can I as a minister and pastor have to this? I am instantly reminded of Queen Esther, of Jael, of Ruth and Naomi, of Mary, Mother of Jesus, the nameless woman at the well, of Pricilla, of…well the list goes on. Extraordinary women. Too often playing second fiddle to all the men.

Perhaps in the midst of all that is happening just now the world will recognise the extraordinary women in our midst – showing true leadership and winning against this invisible adversary covid-19. Because we know, don’t we sisters and supporters that there are many extraordinary women in our churches. Leading from the front and also, sadly too often, hidden from sight.

Sisters I salute you. I cherish you. I am proud to stand alongside you.

Maybe, just maybe, Angela, Jacinda, Tsai Ing-wen, Erna, Karin and Mette will emerge from this with the recognition they deserve and  finally women will be recognised for the great leaders they are and can be.

In the mean time – stay safe, stay well and stay inside!


Rev Shuna Dicks is a RevGal based in Aberdeen, Scotland. She serves in the Church of Scotlands. Shuna is currently in lockdown, working from home with husband Neil, son Andy and his girlfriend each having to carve out a work space. Remarkably they are all still on good terms 5 weeks in.


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