GII: Make women leaders to reduce corruption

Politics of Monday, 9 March 2015

Source: Citifmonline.com

Vitus Azeem GII Director

The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has suggested to government to increase the number of women in critical positions to help curb corruption.

According to GII, results from a research they conducted showed that men in leadership position would turn out to be more corrupt than women in similar positions.

According to the report “a total of 498 respondents (81.5%) felt that there would be more likely less corruption if more women were put into positions of responsibility.”

“Similarly, 61.2% of the respondents felt that a person likely to bribe another person is generally a man than a woman,” the report added.

Corruption is said to have reached an epidemic status in the country.

Notable among such cases includes misappropriation of funds at GYEEDA, SADA and most recent recruitment scam which allegedly involved some top notch in the Police administration.

The GII released the report to mark the International Women’s Day which is being celebrated across the world.

Below is the report:

REPORT OF “WOMEN AND CORRUPTION” STUDY

ISSUED BY GHANA INTEGRITY INITIATIVE (GII) ON MARCH 8, 2015

To Mark the International Women’s Day

On this International Women’s Day, 2015, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) salutes all women worldwide but more particularly, the poor and marginalized women in Ghana who struggle to take care of their children and other family members through school and in pursuit of other basic social services in the face of the ravaging corruption that has engulfed our dear nation. GII recognizes that women continue to play a great role in improving governance wherever they find themselves.

They are care givers at home bringing up future leaders and training their children to be citizens par excellence to eschew and avoid every act that has a tendency to tarnish the reputation of their families and communities as well as their own image.

In commemoration of the day, GII has released the Report of a study that it carried out in 2013 but which was finalized quite recently on “Women and Corruption”.

The study sought to build some evidence on the link between GII’s core mandate and how women and men can play an effective role in the fight against corruption. This study sought to make a contribution to the literature on “Corruption and Women” that have tried to establish a relationship between women and men’s perceptions and experiences with corruption globally.

The general conclusion from these studies is that “women are more vulnerable to corruption than men” while others have concluded that women are more trustworthy and less prone to corruption than men in all spheres of life.

However, it is not clear if these findings equally apply to Ghana and Ghanaian women as there is no such research on the country.

This is why GII carried out the study in collaboration with the Transparency International Secretariat and Transparency International Sierra Leone (TI-SL) as a follow-up to previous gender-mainstreaming programmes undertaken by GII that sought to build evidence and knowledge around the effects of corruption on women and the role women play or could play in the fight against corruption.

Dubbed, ‘Gender Perspectives on Corruption: A Focus on Women’s Participation in the Fight against Corruption”, the study was conducted to provide empirical data which is crucial to inform GII’s advocacy strategies on mainstreaming gender in the fight against corruption nationally.

The results of the study will, therefore, be used to create public awareness and education and to inform advocacy strategies and campaigns for the strengthening of legal and policy reforms in support of the fight against corruption, particularly aimed at reducing its negative impacts on women.

Utilizing a methodological approach designed specifically to capture women’s voices and experiences of corruption and anti-corruption, the study conducted a survey on respondents’ perceptions through face-to-face interviews and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) to learn women’s experiences with corruption and to obtain a general overview of perceptions around women and corruption. Although the main target was women, a small number of men were included in the sample to serve as a control. The sample comprised a total of 618 respondents made up of 497 women and 121 men.

The findings of the study are:

There is a high level of understanding of the meaning of corruption, including demands for and giving of bribes, demands for and giving of sexual favours, unnecessarily long bureaucratic processes, demands for and giving of other favours and opacity or lack of transparency, among both female and male respondents.

The majority of both male and female respondents felt that there was a link between corruption and gender, although women were more likely to see the link than men. A little more than 60% of the respondents felt that, in their experience of corruption, their gender made a difference.

Both females and males (60.3%) agree that women are not as susceptible to corruption as men, although more women than men perceive themselves as less corruptible. Almost 62% of female respondents felt that women were more difficult to corrupt than men.

Similarly, 61.2% of the respondents felt that a person likely to bribe another person is generally a man than a woman.

Almost half of the respondents felt that power and money were more of a concern for men than for women.

A total of 498 respondents (81.5%) felt that there would be more likely less corruption if more women were put into positions of responsibility. A majority of respondents (97.75%) affirmed their willingness to be part of the anti-corruption campaign.

The study came out with a number of recommendations, including the following:

There is a need for more awareness creation, sensitization and empowerment of women to demand accountability, transparency and responsiveness from duty bearers;

There is considerable awareness of how women’s basic human rights are infringed by corruption, corrupt officials and service providers but there is still a need to deepen that awareness. Education and sensitisation of women is key to giving them the power to expose individuals engaged in corruption.

There is need for stronger laws against corruption, including greater protection for those who report the corrupt acts, to be instituted. There is a need for more women representation and empowerment in positions of authority as this can lead to less corruption in society.

There is a need for structures to facilitate activism, provide more legal education and better reporting mechanisms to support women in the fight against corruption.

These key findings provide some relevant, useful insights into the role of women in relation to experiences of and attitudes towards corruption in Ghana. The study also provides a springboard for GII and other state and non-state anti-corruption institutions to intensify sensitization efforts aimed at empowering women, enforcing legal anti-corruption policies and instruments and ensuring greater protection for those who report acts of corruption and increasing the presence of women in government as necessary steps in the fight against corruption.

Once again, GII congratulates women on the occasion of International Women’s Day and calls on all well-meaning Ghanaian women to reject, report and speak out against corruption.

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