Resources on the gendered impact of corruption

The gendered impact of corruption. Who suffers more: Men or women? Boehm, F., & Sierra E. Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute, 2015. U4 Brief 2015:9

What supports the claim that corruption causes more suffering for women than men? By distinguishing between indirect victimisation and direct victimisation, it is reasonable to assume women suffer more, and differently, than men. A review of the scarce evidence on the direct impacts of corruption qualifies this claim to some extent. Nevertheless, a general reduction of gender inequalities can address the root causes of the gendered impacts of corruption. Anti-corruption programming should include an analysis of differences in gender exposure and vulnerability to corruption, while gender programmes would benefit from an anti-corruption lens.

Gender and corruption. SIDA, 2015.

Corruption and gender inequality are in many ways closely connected. Men and women are affected by corruption in different ways, and are subjects and objects of different corrupt practices and behaviours. Gender inequality breeds corruption and vice versa: corruption tends to exacerbate gender inequalities. A gender perspective is necessary if we are to find effective strategies to combat corruption and achieve sustainable development. This brief provides an introduction to linkages between gender and corruption relevant in Sida’s work, and gives suggestions on how to address corruption in gender policies and gender in anti-corruption strategies.

Propensity for corruption: Is it gender or context? Oliver Masakure, O., & Genoe McLaren, P., 2014.

There is limited literature on the effect of gender on corruption in business. Using firm-level panel data from 27 countries in Eastern and Central Europe, the authors find a negative and significant, but small, relationship between female owned/managed firms and corruption propensity, with a much greater relationship being found between corruption and contextual factors.

Seeing beyond the state: Grassroots women’s perspectives on corruption and anti-corruption. The Huairou Commission; UNDP, 2012.

The objective of the study was to document grassroots women’s perceptions and lived experiences of corruption in developing countries and to bring this experience into the discourse regarding anti-corruption, gender equality and women’s empowerment. It is intended to direct attention to the lack of research on the gendered impact of corruption on poor communities. Participants shared their experiences in surveys and focus group discussions. The results show that corruption, as experienced in and defined by grassroots communities, covers a wide range of exploitative practices, such as physical abuse, sexual favours, and both the giving and taking of bribes. Grassroots women defined the non-delivery of public services as a cause, consequence and intrinsic component of corrupt practices. Women reported being subjected to corruption when seeking employment and running businesses in both the formal and informal sectors as well as in obtaining documentation. As the most corrupt government agency, however, grassroots women most often named the police force.

Corruption, accountability and gender: Understanding the connections. Hossain, N., Musembi, N., & Hughes, J., UNIFEM. 2011.

This report examines the relationship between gender equality and corruption. The data suggests that “petty” corruption affects poor women in particular and that the currency of corruption is frequently sexualised: women and girls are often asked to pay bribes in the form of sexual favours. Corruption thus disproportionately affects poor women because their low levels of economic and political empowerment constrain their ability to change the status quo or to hold states accountable to deliver services that are their right. The second part of the report reflects on women’s relative propensity to engage in corrupt activities, as expressed in commonly held assumptions that women in public office are less corrupt then men. The section concludes that there is very little to be gained from assuming that women’s gender generates higher probity. It argues that building public accountability and governance systems that are responsive to women’s needs is more important in reducing the gendered impacts of corruption. In the third part of the report, strategic entry points for the UNDP and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) staff to address gender issues throughout their anti-corruption and governance work are suggested.

Women’s political representation in the European regions: The impact from corruption and bad governance. Sundström, A., & Wängnerud, L., Quality Government Institute, 2013.

The article hypothesises that corruption and partiality in government favour clientelism and advancement of candidates with access to traditional networks, which in turn has a negative impact on the proportion of elected women. The argument was tested on a new, as yet unused dataset on locally elected councillors in 167 regions of 18 European countries. Using a novel measure of regional corruption and quality of government, a multi-level analysis with several regional-level as well as national-level control variables was performed. As such, this article is one of the first to study the variance of women’s local political representation within countries in a comparative perspective. The results suggest that levels of corruption, partiality, and ineffectiveness of government substantially affect the proportion of female councillors. The article contributes by illustrating how bad governance is an important determinant for women’s political presence in contemporary Europe and concludes that hindrances to female representation are not eliminated by the reformation of formal/organisational factors alone.

A gender analysis of corruption forms, effects and eradication strategies: Case studies among the poor in urban and post conflict settings, Uganda. Nordic Consulting Group, 2009.

This study focuses on the extent to which various forms and effects, as well as eradication strategies of corruption are gendered, using a case study approach in two areas: Kampala and Pader. The study includes a mapping of the forms of corruption and their different demands in relation to men and women as well as an examination of whether women and men face different constraints in coping with and reporting corruption. The study confirms that there are gender differences in forms and effects of corruption. Most notably, women experience extortion more frequently than men. They are more easily intimidated into paying a bribe especially in post-conflict areas. Sexual extortion as a special variation of extortion was highlighted as an issue by women specifically. Further, women are severely affected by corruption in the health sector because they are more dependent on access to quality healthcare. Men on the contrary mentioned how they can benefit from corruption. This study also suggests that men are more aware of how the system functions and they have many ideas on how corruption could be eradicated. Women are more engaged in issues that affect them personally. Both men and women stress that complaint mechanisms should be brought closer to the communities as a key eradication strategy.

Who answers to women? Gender and accountability. UNIFEM, 2009. Progress of the World’s Women 2008/2009 report.

This volume of Progress of the World’s Women demonstrates that the Millennium Development Goals and other international commitments to women will only be met if gender responsive accountability systems are put in place both nationally and internationally. In too many countries, even where the constitution or laws prohibit it, women may be denied equal pay; they may be sexually harassed at work, or dismissed if they become pregnant. Women who assert a claim to land may find that claim disputed by village elders or their own husbands. Women seeking care during childbirth may be pressed to pay bribes for a midwife’s attention. Women who have been victims of sexual violence might encounter judges more sympathetic to the perpetrators, and receive no redress for their suffering. Women’s struggles to expose gender-based injustice and demand redress have changed how we think about accountability. The chapters in this volume examine how gender responsive changes to accountability systems are enhancing women’s influence in politics and their access to public services, to economic opportunities, to justice, and finally to international assistance for development and security.

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