13 October 2011
The award of the Nobel Peace prize to three women this month raises the profile of sexual equality and a belated focus on female accomplishment. A Transparency International blogger, exploring gender equity and the relationship to corruption has revisited the question of whether women are less corrupt than me. There seems to be some substance to this proposition. The World Bank has published research on the topic. However as much of the source material relates to developing countries, and recent Transparency International material relates to Rwanda, this may just be reflective of social circumstances and opportunity.
The outcome of the trial this week of the former Ukrainian Prime Minister and her sentence to seven years imprisonment for abuse of power is an extraordinary juxtaposition with reports of corruption in many of the states surrounding Ukraine – and indeed many states elsewhere!.
Apparently a common view of international lawyers is that her administrative actions were not criminal, there being no evidence of personal benefit resulting from the selling of gas to Russia at rates that favoured the Russians.
Women may have less opportunity for grand fraud, and at the “petty fraud” level, a well established pattern seems to be that women are less spectacularly corrupt! Where theft by employees is detected, a generalisation is that men are caught stealing large sums; women steal smaller sums over a longer period. This is borne out by media reports of employees convicted of theft in New Zealand.