VP Leni counts on maternal instinct in responding to COVID-19 crisis

By Raymund Antonio

Why do women make better leaders during a crisis?

Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo believes that “maternal instinct” could be the advantage of women in handling a crisis such as the coronavirus pandemic.

Vice President Leni Robredo (OVP / MANILA BULLETIN) Vice President Leni Robredo

“We are wired to be multi-taskers, and we are also wired not to panic. Kaya nating gawin ang maraming bagay all at the same time na hindi natin napababayaan iyong detalye na kailangan (We can do a lot of things all at the same time, without neglecting the necessary details),” she said on Monday, June 8, in an interview with Usapang EveryWoman.

Robredo, an advocate of women’s rights, explained that women leaders are more inclusive than their male counterparts.

“Pangalawa, nabasa ko ‘to, iyong mark daw ng isang woman leader mas inclusive siya, mas nakikinig siya dahil ina-underestimate niya palagi ang sarili niya (Second, I read this, the mark of a woman leader is she is more inclusive, she listens more to others because she always underestimates herself),” she said.

The vice president has been playing an active role for almost three months now in addressing the coronavirus outbreak and its impact to Filipinos.

In partnership with the private sector, her office has been providing free dormitories, food packs, protective gear, and medical supplies for COVID-19 frontliners.

She also initiated a Community Mart program, an online delivery service that aims to help small vendors and tricycle drivers affected by the pandemic; and the Oasis Project, which builds temporary shelters for health workers.

Robredo said that of all the roles women are made to play have prepared them to handle the challenges during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Iyong babae sanay sa hirap, sanay sa stress, tapos sanay humanap ng solusyon sa kahirapan (Women are used to hardships, stress, then they are used to finding solutions to challenges),” she said.

She also pointed out the “nature and nurture” of women leaders, which make them effective to go through a public health crisis.

“Dahil din sa roles na ina-assume natin in our daily lives, natuto ka mag-compartmentalize. Hindi mo hinayaang ma-take over ng kahirapan (Because of the roles we assume in our daily lives, we learn to compartmentalize. We don’t allow ourselves to be taken over by hardships),” she said.