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Gender-based corruption is present in Rwandan workplaces

Gender-based corruption in workplaces exists in Rwanda and particularly affects women in search for job and the private sector, reveals a new report published today by Transparency Rwanda (TR), the civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption. The report is the first of its kind in Rwanda and reveals a number of challenges for the country.

The study acknowledges that Rwanda has made impressive progress both in the fight against corruption and in the promotion of gender equality. However, 5% of respondents personally experienced gender-based corruption in workplaces, 10% perceive that the problem exists and nearly 20% know someone who has been a victim. The focus group discussions, which complemented the results of the survey, indicated that the incidence is probably even higher.

The sector that is most affected is the private sector, as 58.3% of interviewees think that gender-based corruption exists in private companies, while the public sector and especially civil society seem to be slightly less affected (51.4% and 43.1% respectively). The victims of this form of corruption are mostly women (84.5%), particularly those in search for job, while the perpetrators are mostly men (83.2%), especially directors and other senior staff.

Our country has been praised for its commitment in reducing corruption levels and promoting gender equality, and rightly so” said Marie Immaculée Ingabire, Chairperson of Transparency Rwanda. However it is disturbing that so many of our citizens experience cases of gender-based corruption in their offices, that is why I call on all employers to immediately put in place mechanisms to prevent and punish such cases” she added.

The study reveals that human resources management is largely considered as being based on objective criteria, but 21% believe that the determination of salary is not objective (and 4.1% think this is due to sexual interests). More worryingly, the report shows that only 5.6% of victims reported the cases they encountered to the Police or the Ombudsman, with the fear of creating themselves problems being the main reason why victims do not report (47.3%).

Women as the main victims, the private sector as the most affected, recruitment and salary policies as the main entry points, and low reporting: our study presents a clear agenda of priority actions to be taken to fight against gender-based corruption in workplaces” concluded Apollinaire Mupiganyi, Transparency Rwanda’s Executive Secretary.

TR calls on the Government to raise awareness on this form of corruption, encourage women to report, define a safe structure to report (such as a specialized office within the Office of the Ombudsman or the Gender Monitoring Office) and to review the law on corruption to make it specific on this form of corruption. TR also calls on all employers and organisations to put in place mechanisms of detection, prevention and reporting of gender based corruption, including manuals on recruitment and staff management, as well as to sensitise their staff.

Notes to the editor

Corruption is operationally defined by Transparency International (TI) as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain.

Gender refers to the cultural distinction between social roles, psychological attributes and identities of men and women . Whereas sex is invariant, gender can be modified by a political action.

Methodology. This study is the first of its kind in Rwanda. It was carried out using both qualitative and quantitative approaches, targeted organisations (and not households) on the whole national territory and limited itself to the last three years (2008-2010). The full report will be available after the launch on www.transparencyrwanda.org.

Transparency Rwanda (TR), a legally recognized NGO established in 2004, is a growing institution in Rwanda increasingly seen as a leading anti-corruption actor. TR’s vision is “Zero tolerance to corruption in the Rwandan society” while its mission is “To contribute in the fight against corruption and promoting good governance through enhancing integrity in the Rwandan society”. TR is part of the Transparency International movement.

Launch of the report on Gender-Based Corruption in Workplaces: 11th August 2011 at 8:30 at Sport View Hotel in Kigali.
The President and the Executive Secretary of TR will be available for interviews.


For any press enquiries please contact

Marie Immaculée Ingabire, Transparency Rwanda Chairperson
T: +250 (0)788 300 248

Apollinaire Mupiganyi, Transparency Rwanda Executive Secretary
T: +250 (0)788 309 563
E:info@transparencyrwanda.org