The Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, has said women make better leaders than their male counterparts because they’re “more caring” and run their nations “like a family household.”
The 54-year-old, who is the first female Prime Minister of the Caribbean nation, made those comments during an interview on ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Thursday in a discussion on whether women perform better when they’re in charge, the Daily Mail reports.
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Their discussion centered on a study that revealed how countries that have women leaders effectively contained COVID-19 during the early stages of the outbreak compared to countries with similar size and population being led by males. Per the study, women were expeditious with locking down their countries to mitigate the spread of the virus and also recorded fewer deaths.
“I think the issue is more really how women operate in terms of caring. And in many instances we treat issues how we would treat the household and the family,” Mottley said, responding to why that was so.
“Not in a negative way, in a way that recognises unless you drill down to things and see where you are in respect to how people are operating, and recognise how people are feeling and listening to you, you cannot change behaviour.”
She added: “In this circumstance, it’s behaviour that can contain the virus, these things tend to reflect more because we will pause and not just look at it academically, but think how will it impact the people who are hurting.”
Asked if her comments were sexist, Mottley said she wants people to laud “the attributes women bring to public office,” the Daily Mail reports.
“I don’t think [it is sexist]. I think in households women negotiate in everything we do everyday,” she continued. “Women also have to cooperate with men and we get that, so it gives us a complete picture, and I try not to use the sexist prism. But I want us to understand the attributes women bring to public office do make a difference.”
Mottley was sworn in as the first female Prime Minister of Barbados in 2018. With her vision on the premiership, she got into politics at 26. She went ahead to serve as the Minister of Education Youth Affairs and Culture and at the age of 29, the youngest Bajan woman to hold the post. She also served as the Barbados Labour Party’s General Secretary in 1996.
In 2001, she made history as the first female Attorney-General and Minister of Home Affairs. She was also the youngest Queen’s Counsel in the country.