Anna Petherick, Departmental Lecturer in Public Policy, presented research on how corruption intersects with gender issues at the IPU-UN Annual Parliamentary Hearing of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session against corruption (UNGASS 2021).

It is a known problem that sometimes sexual favours are solicited in return for other types of favours. Yet in most legal systems this form of corruption is not in practice covered either under sexual harassment law or under anti-bribery law, with the latter sometimes only looking at hard currency rather than the currency of sexual favours.

This problem (and potential ways forward) had already been highlighted by Anna in The time is now: addressing the gender dimensions of corruption, a 90-page report about gender and corruption commissioned by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The report included a section about policies to both promote gender equality and reduce corruption.

Gender and corruption have been treated largely separately for many years, so the fact that the two topics are being discussed together at this level is an important step forward. Watch the session at the link above.