Women critical for winning fight against corruption

Accra, Nov. 28, GNA – Mrs Beauty Emefa Narteh, Executive Secretary of the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) has stated that women are the most affected by corruption so they must be actively involved in its fight.

“Women and girls are among the most affected, not least because they account for the largest proportion of people living in poverty, and because corruption exacerbates existing inequalities as a result of asymmetric power relationships,” she explained.

Mrs Narteh was addressing representatives of development partners, government institutions, civil society organisations and others in anti-corruption at a forum on the Role of Women in the fight against Corruption.

It was organised by the GACC with support from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Citing the findings of a UNDP research, in 2012, she said about 70 per cent of women, in especially developing countries, responded that corruption had prevented their access to public goods and services.

Sex, they said, was demanded from them as bribes, thus sexualising their encounters with corruption, according to another research conducted by Hossain, Musembi and Hughes in 2010.

The research also found out that poor women’s dependence on public services meant that they were more vulnerable to the effects of corruption than men.

Again, in developing countries women were disproportionately impacted upon by corrupt activities, noting that women’s general limited access to political and economic leverage reduced their ability to demand accountability.

To enable women to contribute effectively towards the fight against corruption, Mrs Nartey said it was necessary to have a dialogue among the actors dedicated to fighting against corruption and for gender

Mrs Nartey said corruption was a complex and multi-dimensional phenomenon that affected the essential principles of democracy and rule of law.

It also hampered development and affected the enforcement of human rights, particularly, of the vulnerable including women and girls.

The Executive Secretary said though women constituted half of the world’s population, they were the least engaged in discussions on corruption, the most pressing issues to development and social justice.

equality and equity to allow for a greater understanding of the links between gender dimensions and corruption. 

Nana Teiba Chinbuah, Head of Governance, UNDP, said anti-corruption had been a priority on the good governance agenda because corruption impacted negatively on the development of a country.

“It erodes confidence and trust in the public sector, threatening economies by undermining fair competition and discouraging investment and trade,” she said.

“It prevents social inclusion, promotes inequality, inhibits prosperity, reduce resources for poverty reduction (as resources for development are diverted) and deprives the poor and vulnerable of advancement opportunities”.

Nana Chinbuah said as women constituted the majority poor, they were affected by the corruption cycle for the disadvantaged, noting that poor women as primary caretakers of their families, depended more on public service, where corruption affected quality and access to services.

Mrs Clara Beeri Kasser-Tee, Head of Chambers Kasser Law Firm, and a lecturer at GIMPA, said called for a system whereby women would feel free to talk about their concerns.

She said women needed to be empowered to help bring the desired change in the fight against corruption.

Source: Gifty Amofa (ghananewsagency.org)

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