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Corruption: What's gender got to do with it?

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Corruption: What's gender got to do with it?

The Sunderland Gender Network (SunGen) is pleased to welcome Dr Kristy Kelly to present the first in a series of Gendered Worlds seminars.


In this seminar, Dr Kelly will explore the notion of petty corruption, or the everyday abuse of entrusted power by low- and mid-level public officials and community leaders, which for women, is most visible as they try to access basic goods or services in places like hospitals, schools, police departments, land management agencies, and when they apply for jobs.

This is particularly true for marginalized women in the Global South who are increasingly required to negotiate with state bureaucrats vying for access to and control over development.

Managing petty corruption - or what many call "chasing shadows" - is rarely captured in formal measures of corruption, or in anti-corruption campaigns. When it is, data suggests that men are more likely to be asked to pay bribes, while women are more likely to fall victim to sexual extortion.

While international development and humanitarian aid organizations have begun to focus on this disparity, the scholarly literature is still emerging. Drawing on ethnographic cases linking gender, corruption and development across Asia, Africa and the US, this presentation reveals corruption as a gendered institution, shaped by transnational connections, and (re)produced in interaction with global development regimes.