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Are women less corrupt than men?

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Corruption has been a major setback to development in Zimbabwe. Corruption can be done either by men or by women and corruption is now everywhere in our country whether in high offices or on the streets. People now take corruption as a short cut to get a service, product or even an opportunity to earn a living. Corruption cuts across race, class, religion and sex.

The Sunday Mail of 31 of October 2010 featured a story titled  “Rushwaya: Wrong place at the right time” by Hellen Venganai, a gender development analyst. The author of the story suggested that the former Zimbabwe Football Association CEO was recently relieved of her duties because of her gender in a male dominated environment.

Before she was appointed ZIFA CEO, Henrietta Rushwaya was the co-ordinator for the national soccer team fundraising committee, and during that period she did a splendid job mobilising funds at a time when the men’s senior soccer team was having financial problems. Her break through came when she was appointed to the position of Chief Executive Officer at ZIFA. With a success record in fundraising at hand many people were happy to have Henrietta take up the position not because she is woman but because of her credentials. When the corruption scandal exploded at ZIFA I believe we have read about influential people who are in the ZIFA board also being implicated in the scandal.

The only problem I have over Mrs Rushwaya’s sacking is that instead of firing just one person and making a headline story out of it, the whole ZIFA body should just do the nation a favour and leave, so that sanity can prevail in our lovely game of soccer in this country. It takes more than one person for corruption to take place, so all those who took part in the corruption scandal should face the full wrath of the law. Currently the ZIFA executive is lined up with faces that also took part in the corruption scandal but they still have their jobs.

I am not the one to judge whether Rushwaya is guilty or not.  In Zimbabwe we are campaigning for equal representation so that the field of play can be the same for both women and men. So in order to set a good example lets not condone corrupt activities even if women do them. Some theories argue that women are less corrupt than men because they care about their image more than men do. Women pay attention to what others think about them, but men think about how powerful others perceive them to be. These theories may be true or not true. No literature supports the idea that women are less corrupt than men. Let’s learn to call a spade a spade and deal with corruption accordingly.  Otherwise we will end up with plenty of cases involving women giving the same reason Hellen Venganai is trying to come up with of saying that  “Rushwaya was implicated because she was working in a male dominated environment”.

2 comments to “Are women less corrupt than men?”

  1. Comment by Global Voices in English » Zimbabwe: Are women less corupt than men?:

    [...] blogger Lenard Kamwendo asks, “Are women less corrupt than men?”: “Corruption has been a major setback to development in Zimbabwe. Corruption can be done [...]

  2. Comment by Karen:

    Written by a typical man, but good points put across. Women have been playing their part as far as corruption is concerned, but it is just that they do not take pride in it like men do. These things happen to the best of us, but women usually know where to draw the line. So i would say it is quite true she might’ve been corrupt to a certain extent and then MEN pushed her beyond her line and got her to the point of being sacked. Men can take certain immoral activities the extra mile but women somehow have the intuition that is able to stop them from such. Good article Lnard keep up the awesome work!