The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has urged all stakeholders to encourage women and contribute to their empowerment, so they can effectively support the fight against corruption in Ghana.
The call was made by Nana Teiba Chinbuah, Head of Governance of UNDP, at Women in Anti-Corruption Forum organised by the Ghana Anti -Corruption Coalition (GACC) in partnership with UNDP, to discuss and identify mechanisms for strengthening women’s role in the fight against corruption.
Ms. Chinbuah emphasized that corruption impacts negatively on the development of a country, undermines good governance and the rule of law and erodes confidence and trust in the public sector. She noted that progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) would be undermined if corruption is not addressed.
“Women are the custodians of building the value systems of the next generation as they mostly take care of children. With the needed capacity and information, women can contribute to advocacy against corruption in their local communities and demand accountability from public officials”, she added.
Participants at the forum recognized that women constitute half of the world’s population, yet they are mostly not engaged in discussions on corruption, which is one of the most pressing issues of development and social justice. Research also indicates that women, especially in developing countries, are mostly more impacted by corrupt activities. For instance, UNDP’s Human Development Report (2012) revealed that about 76% of women in a survey responded that corruption has prevented them from having access to public goods and services. All these call for the need to include women in the fight against corruption.
In her presentation on the role of women in Anti- Corruption, a Legal Practitioner and Consultant, Ms. Clara Beeri Kasser–Tee indicated that, creating the right value systems, safe environment for women to freely talk, and giving women more access to opportunities are some of the ways to engage them in the anti-corruption advocacy.
“We need to implement more advocacy strategies on gender equality in public services, where women can effectively play their role as change agents to create systems that we don’t have and to nurture those systems until we have enough consensus within the population that abhors corruption”, Ms. Kasser urged.
The Women in Anti-Corruption forum is part of GACC ‘s new strategic plan (2020 to 2024) launched in September to enforce all anti-corruption laws in the country. The strategic plan focused on educating the public on the forms of corruption and its impact on society, building a vibrant, robust and self-sustaining coalition by 2024, sustaining advocacy for law enforcement and campaigning for the strengthening of anti-corruption laws.
The forum gathered about 65 participants from government, academia, development, civil society, private sector and students to dialogue on the links between gender and corruption.