Applause for the women managing the crisis

In this year dominated by the coronavirus, women have played an instrumental part in getting European politics back on track. Commentators praise this development but also note that in other areas gender equality has lost ground rather than advanced.

Open/close all quotes
La Repubblica (IT) /

Strong women doing good things

Former Italian Justice Minister Paola Severino praises today's female leaders in La Repubblica:

“We are now at the end of a tragic year that has wiped out a generation of the elderly and will have an impact on the future of our young, quite apart from the serious crisis into which it has plunged the world economy. A year that deserves special recognition for the role some women have played in strengthening the common European project, fighting the pandemic and consolidating the rule of law. ... I think it is clear to everyone that the European plan for collectively fighting the coronavirus crisis has been put in place thanks to the influence exerted by personalities such as Ursula von der Leyen, Christine Lagarde and Angela Merkel.”

L'Obs (FR) /

More can be done, gentlemen!

When it comes to crisis management men should look to their female counterparts, L'Obs urges:

“Faced with an unpredictable virus that defies all our expectations, our politicians have been forced to change their style of government. Emmanuel Macron had to say goodbye to his bellicose tone (remember the 'We are at war' in the first lockdown) and take a more moderate, explanatory and clearer approach, the only one that can stem the creeping poison of distrust. It's late, but not yet too late, to use these new qualities in the vaccination campaign against Covid-19, the success of which will largely determine our future. Dear men, it's high time you were inspired by women!”

Augsburger Allgemeine (DE) /

Forced back into the kitchen

2020 was not a good year for women, the Augsburger Allgemeine complains:

“When the schools, kindergartens and day care centres were closed in the spring, it was mostly women who took up the slack. In addition to their gainful employment, of course. Even in partnerships that said distributed these tasks evenly prior to the pandemic, women cut back on their paid hours in a third of the cases, while only 10 percent of the men reduced theirs. Now one could say: the pandemic will end sooner or later. ... Women can work more again. Theoretically. In practice, however, cuts leave gaps - including financial ones. Because in the meantime, men have continued to pursue their careers and overtaken women. Because getting back into a job is always difficult. This exacerbates the gender pay gap and increases the risk of old age poverty among women.”