The Impact of Corruption on Women - Strategies for Change 

B  Julie DiMauro - May 5, 2014

Photo courtesy of Transparency International via YouTube

Corruption is not restricted to any geographical location or industry -- but it has some specifically wrenching consequences for those who wield little power, such as women in male-dominated societies.

An October 2012 United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) survey of women's perspectives on corruption revealed both how women interpret corruption and have been affected by it, particularly in developing countries.

The study focused on eight countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia, and solicited responses from 471 respondents -- 392 women and 79 men.

The respondents interpreted "corruption" to mean the giving or taking of bribes, physical abuse, lack of access to food and other basic supplies, and a lack of access to essential information and employment.

The survey findings included: 

The UNDP authors said women in developing countries largely work in the "informal economy," in jobs at the grassroots level, so they are particularly subject to requests for bribery to acquire licenses or work supplies, or obtain a small-business loan.

In the survey, 16% of the women said they had to pay a bribe to gain access to the official documents they needed to work, put their kids in school or use banking services, such as birth certificates, proof of income or marriage licenses.

When asked what they thought would contribute to a more just society, 83% of women thought "women leaders could provide leadership that is more responsive to grassroots communities and less subject to corruption."

Of those women who pushed back against corruption in their societies, harnessing the media (27%) was the most popular strategy to publicly expose instances of corruption.



----- Original Message -----

From: WUNRN ListServe

To: WUNRN ListServe

Sent: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 12:56 PM

Subject: Corruption & Women - Grassroots Women's Perspectives - Report +





Huairou Commission



Grassroots Women's Perspectives on Corruption


Grassroots women experience corruption as endemic, pervasive, and as a part of everyday life experience.


When grassroots women organize at the community level to design and implement anti-corruption strategies, they build gender sensitive governance that leads to improved service delivery, increased access to justice, and decreasing levels of corruption and poverty.

Corruption is a symptom of a larger problem

Grassroots women focus on improving governance structures to reduce corruption and increase access to service and justice

Non-confrontational strategies are more effective at the grassroots level

Partnering with civil servants, service providers and government authorities to promote transparency and accountability creates safe and sustainable mechanisms to reduce corruption

Organizing is the key to creating incentives to stop corruption

Grassroots women are more empowered to raise their voices against corruption if they belong to a grassroots organization. They feel supported and confident to address misuse of power.

Knowing the budget is crucial for monitoring public spending and influencing service delivery

Access to budget information varies from country to country. When this information is updated in real time and accessible, grassroots organizations can better monitor and act on misuse of public money

Grassroots women and youth are affected differently by corruption

In the case of women, sexual demands and physical abuse are two ways that corruption manifests; therefore, anti-corruption mechanisms focused on only bribery would not be able to reduce corruption from the perspective of grassroots women. 

Bottom-up and top-down approaches are complementary in reducing corruption

Grassroots women have developed important mechanisms to improve service delivery and access to justice. 
Policy and legal reforms have the potential of creating sustainable and responsive governance structures to recognize and scale grassroots women-led initiatives. It is thus important to partner with policy makers. 





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