U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from a U4 Partner Agency. The U4 Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International in collaboration with the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre based at the Chr. Michelsen Institute.

Query

What aspects of the gendered impact of corruption are included in the UNCAC and the UNCAC process? What are the arguments for including a gender sensitive approach in the UNCAC and UNCAC mechanisms? What has already been done or attempted to structurally include gender mainstreaming in the UNCAC?

Summary

The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) is the “only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument”. While the convention’s legal text does not reference gender, there are increasing efforts to apply a gender sensitive approach in UNCAC implementation, especially by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) by integrating a gender perspective into “every stage of the programming cycle”. A gender sensitive approach is seen as more advantageous than gender neutral mechanisms (which in reality are gender blind) in adequately addressing anti-corruption interventions by considering the concerns and experiences of “men” and “women”.

Contents

1. Why should gender be included in the UNCAC?

2. Considerations of gender in UNCAC

  • Artefacts
  • Processes
  • State parties’ anti-corruption frameworks

3. How could gender be mainstreamed into the UNCAC

4. References

Main points

  • The UNCAC’s legal text does not reference gender, and women or gender are taken into consideration in only three resolutions from the UNCAC’s Conference of the States Parties.
  • Gender mainstreaming must go beyond looking at gender as a single dimension to include intersectional factors such as age; sex; sexual orientation; gender identity and expression; race and ethnicity; and religion or belief.
  • Recognition of gendered forms of corruption, such as sexual extortion (sextortion), which disproportionately affects women, is vital to addressing the impacts of corruption on more vulnerable groups.
  • Collecting gender-disaggregated data, adopting specific resolutions on gender and corruption, cooperation and synergies with other international processes and bodies, and strengthening attention to gender in UNODC’s programmes are illustrative entry points to mainstreaming gender in the UNCAC process.

Caveat

There is limited availability of information in the public domain concerning mainstreaming gender in the UNCAC. In this answer, the concept of gender is conveyed as a binary understanding of men and women solely because this is where research can support open-source findings. There is no intention of diluting the rainbow representing the community of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex persons.

Authors

Kaunain Rahman (TI), tihelpdesk@transparency.org

Reviewers

Monica Kirya (U4), monica.kirya@cmi.no

Marie Chêne (TI), tihelpdesk@transparency.org

Danella Newman (UNCAC Coalition), danella.newman@uncaccoalition.org

Date

13/10/2021

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