Women and Corruption, March 19 11:30 – 1:00
Women and the environment, Women in power and decision-making, The girl child, Women and the economy, Human rights of women, Violence against women, Institutional mechanisms, Women and armed conflict, Women and the media
SDG 1 – No Poverty, SDG 2 – Zero Hunger, SDG3 – Good Health and Well-Being, SDG4 – Quality Education, SDG8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG 10 – Reduced Inequality, SDG16 – Peace and Justice Strong Institutions, SDG17 – Partnerships to achieve the Goal
Bullying (2016), Harassment (2016), Tolerance of Minority Groups (2016)
This session introduced me to an area I know little about. I am not aware of advocacy on such.
This was a very organised session with highly respected and informed presenters.

My notes do not do justice to them but I was particularly impressed with the comments by Monica Kirya. As a retired teacher and always interested in education I found her presentation fascinating. I had never really thought about corruption in the education sector before but see now how widespread it can be and how it effects the quality of education, especially for women and girls. SDG4 in light of COVID is tragic and that was before we took corruption into account! In many countries schools are underfunded. The share size of the sector makes it susceptible to corruption from the location of the buildings to the procurement of textbooks, equipment and meals and licensing and accreditation. I can understand how all can lead to devastating outcomes. Corruption related to admissions and examinations is universal. I had not considered it in teacher management but understand now how this can be so in staffing, especially in rural schools in some countries. I was aware of the issues of ghost teachers and absenteeism in Afghanistan but am sure they are more widespread that we would like to think in other parts of the world. It is only natural then to think of the same issue with tutoring. Tragically both female teachers and students are effected by further corruption in the way of sex for grades and the statistics in Uganda and Botswana were alarming. In concluding corruption permeated many aspects of education and girls were certainly more effected than boys.

The next area discussed was also fascinating corruption and organised crime. I could not help but think of the courage involved as this topic was discussed – a women of a survivor to call for justice, a women because of her cultural role placed to advocate, a woman working outside her traditional power structure. It was difficult to think too of how she might approach resilience.

Equally upsetting was the further thought of how corruption can effect investment in infrastructure in marginalised areas of the world and its repercussion then on girl's education. Depressing too was the largely unreported mention of sextortion.
This session raised awareness about a little known topic for me. It will be interesting to know if any NFAs are advocating in the area.

Corruption effects some more than others but in end it effects us all. It appears that a high level commitment is needed on a global level.

Author: Hally Siddons

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