It Is All about Power: Corruption, Patriarchy and the Political Participation of Women
Ortrun Merkle () and
Pui Hang Wong
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Ortrun Merkle: United Nations University (UNU-MERIT), Maastricht University
Chapter Chapter 20 in Women and Sustainable Human Development, 2020, pp 353-368 from Palgrave Macmillan
Abstract Recent research shows a link between higher rates of political participation of women and less corruption, yet little is known about the link between attitudes towards female political leadership and the acceptance of corruption. In order to fill this knowledge gap, this study employs data from the sixth wave (2010–2014) of the World Values Surveys for Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The study finds that people who agree that men are better political leaders than women, regardless of their gender, are more likely to state that corruption is justifiable. The findings corroborate the argument that corruption is deeply rooted in patriarchal structures, which need to be addressed to achieve both higher political participation of women and lower levels of corruption. This chapter is relevant to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5, target 5.5, which focuses on the political participation of women and SDG 16, target 16.5, which focuses on the reduction of corruption.
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