25b_--Chaste-Women-in-a-LandscapeWOMAN POWER

Is it true that women are less corruptible, therefore less corrupt than men?

I’ve always thought so! As wives and mothers, women are the  nurturers of the family both in terms of the physical  as well as the emotional needs. Because their maternal instincts are honed in by customs and traditions, women are protective over the well-being of their children and husbands. They hold the family unit together and are prepared to defend it to the last tear – if it comes to that!

Whether it is because of her biological, socio-cultural or religious programming or because of the modern societal engineering she undergoes, a  woman generally fits better into the mould of a more caring and compassionate figure – largely dutiful in carrying out her domestic chores or work tasks; mostly responsible in undertaking her many roles and functions.  It is said that because of this multifunctional aspect of her predicament, a woman is capable of  multi-thinking  and multi-tasking all at once! 

The New Sunday Times headlines WOMEN LESS CORRUPT and the ensuing report  today adds yet another dimension to womanness or womanliness – the ethical and moral!

Quoting a World Bank report ” women may have higher standards of ethical behaviour and be more concerned with the common good”. Quoting Transparency International Malaysia ” Psychologically, women have less propensity to be corrupt”…are “more straightforward and no-nonsense”.  Quoting the Malaysian Institute of Integrity ” Generally, they (women) are stricter in enforcing rules and regulations. They follow the letter of the law, very inflexible sometimes. Because of this, they would be more likely to deny abuse of power.”

The World Bank report draws the conclusion that “…women should be particularly effective in promoting honest government” and that bringing more women into the government may have significant benefits for society in general.

I’ve always thought that the responsibility of being a role model to her children develops a more acute moral conscience and higher standards of integrity in a woman. A mother is after all answerable for her children’s poor development and sometimes held responsible for their bad behaviour, especially when they are minors. Fortunately, as a wife she is spared the dishonour of   her (adult) husband’s furtive misdemeanours or secret acts of corruption while not being spared the humility and family shame!

I’m glad my intuitions are in order, especially when they are supported by these prestigious local and international agencies.

However, I’ve been cautioned by those with a better knowledge of the public and private sectors! I’ve been told that women KSUs and Deputy KSUs, division and agency heads, even ministers have been known to allow their husbands to take advantage of their positions. What this means is that once women are in a position of authority or power, they too are susceptible or corruptible!

This is confirmed by the MACC  “…women have also been charged for giving bribes, accepting bribes and abusing their position. Men, however, generally seek a bigger share of the pie”.


Does asking for and giving more (bribes) make men more corrupt?

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August 2009
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