Corruption, Accountability and Gender: Understanding the Connections

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December 9, 2010

Corruption, Accountability and Gender: Understanding the Connections

Corruption has been high on the governance reform agenda for decades. Corruption constrains development, exacerbates and causes conflict, and is one of the biggest obstacles to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). While all of society suffers from corruption's weakening of the efficiency, effectiveness and probity of the public sector, corruption has well-known differential impacts on social groups—with poor people among its greatest victims. Corruption reduces resources for poverty reduction and development and deprives poor people of advancement opportunities.

However, neither research nor policy has paid sufficient attention to corruption’s differing impacts on women and men. Unaddressed questions include: Do women suffer more from corruption than men? Do women face different forms of corruption than men? Do women in public office have different propensities to engage in corruption or face different opportunities? Do the answers to these questions support changes in anticorruption
policy or advocacy strategies? This primer examines the relationship between gender equality and corruption.

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