Anti-corruption and gender: the role of women’s political participation

Anti-corruption and gender: the role of women’s political participation

Higher levels of political participation have been linked to lower levels of corruption across the
world. This policy brief will explore this relationship in more detail.
Anti-corruption and gender report cover

Dr Ortrun Merkle


This policy brief shows that while much remains to be explored, there are clear links between anti-corruption and women's political participation that are important to understand for politicians, anti-corruption advocates, and those working on increasing women’s representation in political office.

To show how political participation and corruption are related, this brief explores several questions: firstly, how do women influence corruption at different levels of government? Here, a number of possible explanations have been identified, such as women simply being more honest than men, being more risk averse, being treated differently by voters, or being excluded from networks of power.

Secondly, the brief investigates the question of how corruption hinders the political participation of women. A particular focus here is put on the role of networks in preventing women from actively participating in the political sphere.

Lastly, the brief looks at the important role women can play in the fight against corruption, focusing on the way women highlight different policy areas and break up male-dominated corrupt networks.

The brief focuses on three case studies showcasing the relationship: Ukraine, Kenya, and Indonesia.