Corruption and gender inequality

How abuse of power affects women and men

Corruption and gender inequality

How abuse of power affects women and men
Corruption is an abuse of power for private gain. Depending on the players and the field of play, it is divided into political, business, and petty corruption.

Gender inequality is present in all life spheres - from the representation of women and men in positions of power to the separation of domestic duties between them. Consequently, the impact of corruption practices on women and men is different.
Women are more vulnerable to corruption because of existing gender inequality
Political representation
Decision-making sphere

State social guarantees
Labour market and economic autonomy

Access to resources
Interaction with controlling authorities

We've carefully read the "Corruption in the eyes of women and men" study to tell you the most interesting facts.
On the one hand, Ukrainians condemn corruption, on the other hand, two out of five citizens acknowledged that they were involved in corruption over the past year.

Although there is no big difference in the perception of corruption by Ukrainian women and men, it is clear that women's evaluation of corruption in social sphere tends to be more critical.

Researchers explain this by the fact that women represent the social sphere, working in it and receiving public services. Women are more involved in household activities, raising children, and caring for dependent family members.
Map key
— % of people affected by the problem. Colour shows an overbalance in responses of men and women
1 — Percentage of respondents who see corruption as one of the most important problems in their own country.
2 — Percentage of citizens who reported that they or members of their households have given unofficial payments or gifts to receive services at least once during the past 12 months.
3 — Percentage of respondents who believe that ordinary people can contribute to eradicating corruption.

Source: calculated based on data from the Global Corruption Barometer, 2016
In the process of structural transformations, women often are more vulnerable due to gender inequality that can limit their opportunities in various spheres – access to good jobs and salaries, political representation and decision-making,
the "Corruption in the eyes of women and men" study says
Petty corruption
Why women are more likely to face demands and pressure linked to petty corruption
A woman educates children, cares for relatives, and does housework.

She is more often dealing with medical and educational institutions, various social services for the whole family.

Consequently, she is more often faced with the power abuse of officials, medical staff, etc.
In addition, women need unrestricted access to medical services related to their reproductive function. During pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period, women become particularly vulnerable to corruption.
A mom has two options: to get to a hospital by an ambulance or to arrange it with some doctor. You are just scrolling the forums to find information on doctors' contacts, skills, and fees. There are many terrible stories on interventions during childbirth leading to physical and psychological trauma. Therefore, it is natural when you are looking for safer options. Everyone is afraid of the "conveyor", although private agreements do not guarantee anything
At the editor's request, on one of the private forums for mothers, Maria asked whether they paid additional costs while giving birth in a hospital.
In 2015, a pregnant woman's registration in a hospital cost 3,000 UAH ($125), cesarean section $500, anesthesia 900 UAH ($36). In 2018, charitable donation was 3,500 UAH ($125), childbirth $500, inpatient ward 1,000 UAH ($35).
In 2016, I met with an obstetrician before the childbirth, a doctor cost $200-300, an obstetrician $100-150. I gave birth at home.
In 2016, I selected a certain doctor for my childbirth. No one stated the cost of the services; I paid at my discretion. In total, I paid some 7,000-8,000 UAH ($250).
$100 for my first childbirth. It was a total disaster, a nightmare, including hospital staff's attitude: no medical exams at all. Thank God, they did no harm
It's interesting that men's most common answers were a disbelief in change and fear of accusations for giving bribes. Women think more of consequences and difficulty of pushing it through.
What people pay for in the health sector
Socially vulnerable categories
Corruption affects those who face multiple "layers" of discrimination and stereotypes, as well as those who depend most on state social policy.
"Internally displaced women remain more vulnerable regarding access to employment and income. The survey showed that IDP women contact the authorities and local service providers, human rights organizations, migration services, courts and law enforcement agencies more often than men. A noticeably higher percentage of displaced women also encounter issues dealing with social institutions, including requirements for additional documents, lack of clarification by officials, lack of information on procedures for processing documents, etc.",
"Corruption in the eyes of women and men" study says
Source: Report on the gender analysis of the results of the Ukraine-wide polling on the observance of the rights of IDPs, 2017
Sexual extortion
Researchers singled out sexual extortion as a specific form of corruption.
Sexual extortion is a form of corruption where entrusted authority or competence is used to obtain a private benefit.

Sextortion in the workplace, education, legal and law enforcement systems remains an invisible phenomenon. It flourishes in silence due to the difficulty of proving facts, shame and fear, which is based on a patriarchal attitude toward a woman, in hopelessness and in the absence of protection from the state.
A young woman who worked in a creative team at the Department of Culture of the Oblast State Administration sought our help with the wrongful dismissal and sexual harassment. She was offered to sign a 6-month fixed-term employment contract to be hired.

During 6 months of work, her supervisor has been explicitly demanding sexual favours in exchange for the contract extension. She refused, thus the contract was not extended. The woman was ready to go to law enforcement agencies and found more witnesses among her female colleagues, as she was not the first one who encountered the sexual extortion from the supervisor.

Based on her report, a criminal case was opened, but witnesses - the women's colleagues - refused to testify, since they continued to work in the team. So, the case has stalled. The woman found a new job and did not want to waste her time and energy on this issue. We requested an explanation from the Department of Culture, without any reaction from their side.
Lawyer at the "Women's Perspectives" Centre
Halyna Fedkovych
To retake an exam, I needed a signature of a department head. I came to his office, he went out to check if anyone was waiting me in the corridor. The corridor was empty, he locked the cabinet, removed his pants in front of me and said: "Come on." I studied at the University of Physical Culture in Lviv, he was not young but strong, a wrestler or something like that. I was confused, not quite ready for such situation. I said: "I cannot, I'm on my period." But he insisted. I persuaded him to let me go, because a taxi was waiting to go to the exam, and his signature was needed immediately.

However, this story was not over. The next semester. At one exam, an instructor told me that I would pass, but I needed to go to the department head first. So, I had to go there again. He tried to force me into a sauna at the sports complex. I had to lie that I told my dad about everything. Although I could not talk to my family about it.

It was a long time ago, at a time when no one was talking about sexual extortion, and that times were somehow calmer. Now I communicate with students from different universities and I have heard many similar stories. At universities, this phenomenon, unfortunately, is widespread.
Head of the "Women's Perspectives" Centre
Marta Chumalo
Women face more resistance in access to higher academic, administrative, and managerial positions at universities. Thus, according to in-depth interviews, men only need a relevant degree and influential connections to be promoted at universities. Women, by contrast, indicate that getting a promotion requires not only a degree and connections, but also different forms of a bribe (money, kickbacks, valuable gifts, sexual services),
Research of the Institute of Applied Humanities "Gender Analysis of Corruption Practices in the Labour Market" says
On average, women earn less than men and prevail among the low-income population. Hence, their welfare depends much more on social benefits, pensions, subsidies and access to public services. The Ukrainian "poverty profiles" include single, elderly women, unemployed women, and single mothers of underage children. In a state, where informal payments are considered a normal practice to receive services, poor women are sometimes completely deprived of public services.

The gender factor also affects business opportunities, access to resources (loans and permits), and interaction with supervising bodies.

"Glass ceiling" or "sticky floor" are practices in the workplace that limit the advancement of women in their career path. The "invisible" conditional barriers keep women in lower positions in the civil service and in the corporate sector. In the context of the local self-government reform, the proportion of women in amalgamated territorial communities (ATCs) has decreased from 19% in 2015 to 14% in 2017. The more economically capable ATC, the lower the percentage of female candidates, researchers note.

Women are significantly less represented in "big politics" and among senior officials of the country. Only 12.3% of MPs and 4 of the 24 ministers are women.

The gender analysis does not give a clear answer to the inclination of a certain gender to corruption. We can only state the size of Ukraine's losses from corruption that take place against the backdrop of gender inequality.
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