CORRUPTION hits the poorest the hardest and undermines efforts to break the cycle of poverty, says Transparency International.
And TI says in sub-Saharan Africa, clients of land are subjected to bribes every second.
In statement to announce the launch of a resource book for women titled ‘Women, Land and Corruption’, which is a collection of unique articles and research findings that describe and analyse the prevalence of land corruption in Africa, TI stated that corruption exacerbated gender inequalities in society.
“Corruption hits the poorest the hardest, undermining efforts to break the cycle of poverty and further distorting how income, resources andservices are shared between women and men…Women experience and perceive corruption differently from men and are more vulnerable tospecific types of corruption – particularly sexual extortion – due to their social, political and economic roles,” the TI noted.
It further stated that links between land corruption and women’s wellbeing and prosperity were evident across Africa.
“Women’s strong dependency on land as a resource means that land corruption disadvantages them more than men. Such corruption takes many forms, including traditions preventing women from inheriting land, bribery and sexual extortion by community leaders and land officials, and multinational investors appropriating land
traditionally worked by women. Land corruption increases gender disparities, which undermines women’s livelihoods and social standing and, ultimately, perpetuates poverty,” TI adds.
“While awareness of land corruption as a phenomenon has increased over recent years, understanding and recognition of how women are affected differently from men has been lacking. There has been no single source of background information, lessons learnt and approaches to tackling land corruption, as it affects women, to inspire civil society and inform effective policy-making. Worldwide, one in five people report having paid a bribe for land services, however, in Sub-Saharan Africa every second client of land administration services is affected.”
On the latest research, TI noted that women were often excluded from negotiations with investors during land deals.
“Women are less likely to receive adequate compensation for land acquired by external parties; in countries where legislation supports women’s land rights, enforcement is often weak and women’s claims are frequently undermined by traditional practice and custom; women are particularly vulnerable to sexual extortion, including demands for sexual favours in return for land services,” stated the TI.