Lawmakers

However the research looks at the implications of the presence of women in other occupations as including the shares of women in the labor force, clerical positions, and decision making positions such as the CEOs and other managerial positions, and finds out that women’s presence in these occupations is not significantly associated with corruption, suggesting that it is the policy making role through which women are able to have an impact on corruption.

KATHMANDU, June 17: Corruption is lower in countries where a greater share of parliamentarians are women, according to a new study published in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization by researchers Chandan Jha of Le Moyne College and Sudipta Sarangi of Virginia Tech.

The study further finds that women’s representation in local politics in important as well—the likelyhood of having to bribe is lower in regions with a greater representation of women in local-level politics.

According to Sarangi, this research underscores the importance of women empowerment, their presence in leadership roles and their representation in government.

“This is especially important in light of the fact that women remain underrepresented in politics in most countries including the United States.”

The authors speculate that women policymakers are able to have an impact on corruption because they choose different policies from men. An extensive body of prior research shows that women politicians choose policies that are more closely related to the welfare of women, children, and family.

In Nepal, of the 275 parliament members elected in the November 26 and December 7 elections, the lower house has 90 women parliamentarians while the upper house, which represents the states, consists of 22 women members of the total 59. (Nepal’s bicameral federal parliament consists of House of Representatives (lower house) and National Assembly (upper house).) It means Nepal’s federal parliament occupies 33.5 percent women’s representation.

The Article 84 (8) of the Constitution of Nepal ensures at least one third women representation of the total number of members elected to the federal parliament.

However the inclusion in parliament of Nepal in terms of gender was not the same in the past. Traditionally, women had limited role in Nepalese politics. But, the women’s active involvement in political main stream was noted in the revolt against the oligarchy Rana regime in 1951, and then in the 1990 People’s Movement, which established multi-party democracy in Nepal. Similarly hundreds of thousands women participated in second People’s Movement in 2006, that abolished Monarchy and followed the declaration of Nepal as Federal Democratic Republic.

The first parliamentary elections saw all six women candidates lost the elections.  The number of women candidates gradually increased in 1991, 1994 and 1999 parliamentary elections, with 81 (party candidate 73 and 8 independent), 86 (party candidate 74 and 12 independent) and 143 (party candidate 117 and 26 independent) respectively. But out of the total 205 seats only 6 (2.9%,), 7 (3.4%), and 12 (5.8%) women were elected (only the party candidates) respectively in 1991, 1994 and 1999.

Nepal’s Constitution Assembly 2008, was able to elect 191 women leaders out of 575 seats, and Cabinet nominated 6 women out of 26 seats, resulting to 197 women members (32.8%) in the parliament.  However, their representation in the second Constitution Assembly election, in 2013, had dropped, slightly, to 29.6 percent.

As for corruption index, Nepal currently ranks 122th out 180 countries ranked in Corruption Perception Index (CPI). Nepal ranked 131th out of 176 countries ranked in CPI-2016, while the best score was when Nepal was ranked 116th position out of 177 countries ranked in 2013.

Due to political instability and frequent changes in government corruption was high in Nepal. But the recent historic House of Representatives and Provincial Assembly election has ensured a stable government for five years, with Nepal Communist Party led by Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ commanding two-third majority in the house.

The government has also adopted zero tolerance policy against corruption stating that corruption, monopoly and irregularities are the major blockade for Nepal’s journey of economic development and prosperity.

However the research looks at the implications of the presence of women in other occupations as including the shares of women in the labor force, clerical positions, and decision making positions such as the CEOs and other managerial positions, and finds out that women’s presence in these occupations is not significantly associated with corruption, suggesting that it is the policymaking role through which women are able to have an impact on corruption.

The report further states: “Sometimes it is believed that the relationship between gender and corruption may disappear as women gain similarity in social status. This is presumably because as the status of women improves, they get access to the networks of corruption and at the same time learn the know-how of engaging in corrupt activities. The results of this study, however, indicate otherwise: the relationship between women’s representation in parliament and corruption is stronger for countries where women enjoy a greater equality of status. Once again, this finding further suggests that it’s policymaking through which women are able to impact corruption.”

Jha and Sarangi’s study warns that these results do not necessarily mean that women are inherently less corrupt. In fact, their findings suggest otherwise. If women are indeed less corrupt, then there should be a significant negative correlation between all these measures of female participation and corruption.

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