Close the political gender gap to reduce corruption

Report / White Paper

April 3, 2019

Close the political gender gap to reduce corruption


Including women in local councils is strongly negatively associated with the prevalence of both petty and grand forms of corruption. This reduction in corruption is primarily experienced among women. A study suggests that female representatives seek to further two separate political agendas once they attain public office: 1) the improvement of public service delivery in sectors that tend to primarily benefit women, and 2) the breakup of male-dominated collusive networks.

Main points:

  • Increased representation of women in elected office can reduce both petty and grand corruption. 
  • Women in elected office reduce corruption both because they are risk averse and because they have a different political agenda than men.
  • Women in elected office reduce petty corruption in their efforts to improve public service delivery and grand corruption because it is detrimental to their political careers. 
  • Women in elected office reduce the rate of bribery for public services, particularly for women. 
  • Donors can promote women’s representation and reduced corruption through supporting the anti-corruption agendas chosen by women.

Click here to see the study.

Resource type: 
Monika Bauhr, Nicholas Charron and Lena Wängnerud
Publication year: 
Focus areas: