Resources from Transparency International

Corruption and gender in service: The unequal impacts. Transparency International, 2010. Working paper

Corruption in the provision of basic services, such as health and education, can have disproportionate and negative consequences for women and girls, compromising their own empowerment as well as the gender equality and development of their country. It can seriously compromise their access to quality schools and clinics, their own social and economic empowerment and even their country’s prospects for growth, gender equality and wider social change. Corruption directly thwarts progress in all these areas by exacerbating poverty and gender gaps. In developing countries, the effects can be stark when basic services are of low quality and gender inequalities are already high. This working paper investigates corruption’s role in the process and the severe impact it exacts on women and girls.

State of research on gender and corruption. Nawaz, F. Transparency International/U4. 2009. U4 Expert Answer.

 Corruption may affect progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment by limiting women’s capacities to claim their rights. Evidence is inconclusive on whether women are more or less prone to corruption than men. A review of recent literature indicates that a more important dimension is corruption’s disproportionate impact on women. This appears to be particularly the case in fragile state settings. Research shows that good practice to mitigate the effects of corruption on women include improved female participation in oversight processes and accountability systems.

Gender, corruption and education. Chêne, M. Transparency International/U4, 2009. U4 Expert Answer. 

There are few governance indicators that systematically capture the gender dimension of corruption in education. However, there is a growing consensus that corruption undermines the quality and quantity of public services, and reduces the resources available for the poor and the women, ultimately exacerbating social and gender disparities. Corruption hits disadvantaged groups – including women – harder, as they rely more on the public system, have less resources to make informal payments to access education services and seek legal protection. Women are also more vulnerable to specific forms of corruption, such as sexual extortion, in exchange for schooling, good grades and other school privileges. There is no empirical evidence available on the long-term impact of corruption on gender disparities in the education sector. However, there is a general consensus that such practices have long-term consequences on women’s education outcomes, psychological and physical health as well as gender equity, ultimately affecting long-term social and economic progress.  

Gender, corruption and health. Nawaz, F. Transparency International/U4, 2009. U4 Expert Answer  

Access to healthcare is fundamental to quality of life. It is essential to inclusive human development, and it is also a fundamental human right enshrined in the UN Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The health sector is particularly exposed to corruption due to multiple information asymmetries, the complexity of health systems and the large size of public funds involved. Corruption in the sector takes many forms and ranges from undue influence on health policies, to embezzlement of funds, to the solicitation of bribes and under-the-counter payments at the point of service delivery. The consequences of expensive, ill-tailored, inaccessible or unsafe health products and services hit women particularly hard. This is because they often have higher and differentiated needs for health services, but also because they bear the brunt of poor services as primary providers of homecare and are less empowered to demand accountability and assert entitlements. Corruption in the health sector, therefore, contributes to and exacerbates in most developing countries persistent disparities in access to health services. This has hugely detrimental effects, not only on the health of women but also on their capabilities for educational attainment, income-generation and thus, ultimately, their status and the attainment of gender equity. 

Gender, corruption and humanitarian assistance. Chêne, M. Transparency International/U4, 2009. U4 Expert Answer 

There is little research capturing the gender dimension of corruption in humanitarian assistance. However, as women represent the higher proportion of the population in need of assistance worldwide, they are likely to be disproportionally affected by the impact of corruption on the quality and quality of humanitarian assistance. Corruption in humanitarian aid occurs at all stages of the programme cycle, from the targeting and registration process, to the distribution of relief aid, procurement, financial management and programme evaluations. Women are more specifically affected by gender specific forms of corruption such as sexual exploitation and abuse. In the short term, corruption compromises women’s access to basic services such as food, shelter, family planning, health and education. This has long lasting physiological, psychological and social consequences, compromising women’s opportunities and prospects of social and economic empowerment.

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