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.


Provide an overview of gender-sensitive corruption reporting and whistleblowing mechanisms and approaches, including sextortion.


The increasing awareness of the gendered effects of corruption calls for the creation of whistleblowing and reporting mechanisms sensitive to gender differences. This demand requires particular importance in cases of gendered forms of corruption, such as sextortion. The specialised literature suggests that gender is never a single factor that explains the differences in whistleblowing practices. Rather, it depends greatly on the context and demographic characteristics. An understanding of the variety of reasons why men and women do or do not blow the whistle, when they do it and how they do it is a first necessary step for the creation of effective gender responsive whistleblowing.

Main points

  • Gender differences in reporting corruption are highly influenced by contextual, social and demographic characteristics.
  • Women are particularly influenced by peers, friends and family reactions to whistleblowing.
  • Confidentiality and anti-retaliation provisions are prioritised by women in their decision to blow the whistle.


  1. Introduction
  2. Gender and whistleblowing
    • Reasons women do not report misconduct
    • Why and when women blow the whistle
    • The case of sextortion
  3. Gender-sensitive whistleblowing approaches
    • Whistleblowing legal mechanisms
    • Mobile units
    • Hotlines and online platforms
    • Institutional settings
    • Cooperation with women organisations
  4. References


There is very little research and evidence on non-binary gender reporting. For this query, gender-sensitive reporting and whistleblowing mechanisms refer to mechanisms allowing men and women to report or blow the whistle on corruption.


Nieves Zúñiga (TI), [email protected]


Marie Chêne (TI), Marie Terracol (TI), Alison Matthews (TI), [email protected]

Monica Kirya (U4)




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