This International Women’s Day Transparency International is celebrating the strength and passion of female corruption fighters around the world, while highlighting the devastating effect corruption has on women’s lives. We asked some amazing women who fight corruption everyday for their top tips. Now it’s up to all of us to #MakeItHappen
– Elena Panfilova, Vice-Chair, Transparency International
As the primary care-takers in families in many parts of the world, women have a higher chance of experiencing corruption in their daily lives, whether enrolling their children in school, seeking medical treatment for themselves or family, or interacting with public officials to access government-subsidised programmes.
In many countries, corruption denies girls and women their rights, prevents them from achieving their potential and even puts their lives at risk. Our research shows that more women die in childbirth and more girls miss out on secondary education in countries where bribery is common. See the infographic here.
Unequal power relationships between men and women make women more vulnerable to the impact of corruption, particularly when sexual acts are demanded in place of bribes. These acts often go unreported due to the perceived shame associated with sexual crimes. Read the inspiring stories of women in Lebanon and Niger who are fighting back to seek justice and uphold their rights.
Speaking out in Africa
- 67 per cent of men and women in Ghana say they have never encountered a woman who used her position to extort money or favours, suggesting that women tend not to use their positions of power for private gain
- 73 per cent of men and women in Sierra Leone believe there would be less corruption if more women were in power
Arab women take action
Transparency International is joining forces with women leaders from academia, business and government to fight for gender-sensitive anti-corruption strategies in the Arab world. Taking place in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Tunisia and Yemen, these women are organising meetings to share their experiences of corruption and develop plans to stop it. Each women’s group will launch a national declaration to fight corruption, which will go towards a regional one that publicises Arab women’s experiences with corruption and demands for change.
Empowering women in Latin America
We’re working with women’s groups across Latin America to ensure greater transparency, accountability and participation in government social spending programmes, which aim to help the region’s poorest citizens. An estimated 20 per cent of the population in Latin America receive Conditional Cash Transfer benefits, which link cash payments to the provision of education and healthcare. Gender is an important factor because the recipient of the cash payment is usually the female adult member of the household. As a result, female beneficiaries find themselves dealing with officials on a regular basis. Where there's weak accountability or oversight, the (often male) officials can have significant discretionary power, leading to increased risks of abuse and corruption.
Transparency International’s 2014 Integrity Award winner Thuli Madonsela does not hesitate to speak truth to power. In office since 2009, South Africa’s courageous Public Protector has investigated claims of corruption at the very highest levels of government without fear or favour, earning her the admiration of South Africans as well as the international community. Her most high-profile work to date is an investigation of the South African President’s alleged use of taxpayers’ money to purchase home improvements to his personal residence at Nkandla. In a hard-hitting report released in March 2014, Madonsela recommended that President Jacob Zuma apologise and pay back the money spent on refurbishments not related to security.
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