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Posts Tagged ‘International Anti-Corruption Day’

“It is not only governments and financial institutions that need to do more to prevent corruption and strengthen integrity. Corruption affects us all. It weakens democratic institutions, undermines the rule of law and enables terrorists to finance their nefarious work. On this International Day, let us all do our part to strengthen integrity, play by the rules, and turn the tide against this global menace.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Message on International Anti-Corruption Day

9 December 2009

Part of the chain of United Nations international observances that fall within the 16 days campaign to eliminate violence against women, this day arose out of the 43 page UN Resolution 58/4 on October 31, 2003. This resolution was made an official Convention by adoption in December 2005 after a minimum of 30 states (countries) had ratified the document and a Secretariat assigned. The Convention lays out definitions, agreements and procedures by which state and other entities such as regional economic organizations agree to abide, toward the elimination of corruption.

I have been unable to root out of the UN documents the most recent list of signatories to the Convention, however as of 2006, a total of 98 states had ratified it.

Education is an example of one area of human rights where the impact of corruption is different then men. UNIFEM has published a flagship biennial report entitled, “Progress of the World’s Women 2008/2009”. It part it indicates that women appear to be less tolerant and more vulnerable to corruption than men.

The U4 Anti Corruption Resource Center explains further that while there is no empirical evidence, there is a general consensus that women are disproportionately affected.  They make several points in this regard.

First, where women lack access to economic power, they are more reliant on public services. Where corruption occurs, those services suffer and undermine quality.

Second, without personal income it is more difficult to pay bribes and informal payments that may be part of the public system, and they may represent a higher portion of income for poor families. Since women head of households represent a disproportionate share of poor families, they are more greatly affected.

Third, in a non-equal world, poor families tend to reserve their available funds for boys.

Finally, women tend to have less access to redress, because of gender restricted roles and culture, and the lack of economic power, In a justice system that is gender based, rather than human based, women tend to lose out.

The thrust of these organizations is directed towards developing and war torn areas. However, their talking points resonate in the United States, as well.

Women here also represent a disproportionate share of poor heads of household. They are more likely to be dependant on public service. While most families may not make decisions by gender, over who should attend school, there is still disparity in educational choices and treatment. Since women are not equal under the eyes of the law, redress for grievances is different.

For further information, Transparency International has a wonderful resource page HERE.

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