More women, less corruption? | Avaaz | Psycholitics & Psychonomics |

Do a greater number of women in leadership roles reduce corruption?


Are women leaders less corrupt than their male counterparts? That's a tricky one. The answer, it seems, is something like yes and no.

It's a loaded question, but it's also a terribly important one. Let's start with a well-known 1999 World Bank study that found that corruption decreased 10% for every standard deviation point increase in women in public office above 10.9 percent.


That seems like pretty straightforward evidence, but things may not be that simple. Countries with more women in positions of power do tend to be less corrupt than their less egalitarian neighbours. But that trend may have more to do with transparent and accountable systems of governance rather than gender.

Reuters cites a new study entitled Fairer Sex or Purity Myth?:
The report found that in autocratic regimes with strong male hierarchies, more women in power had little measurable impact on corruption, but that in more open, democratic political systems the change was noticeable.'