International Women’s Day 2016

As today is International Woman’s Day it’s another good time to highlight one of the key corruption issues affecting mainly women: Sextortion.

Sextortion on the Agenda at the IACC

Sextortion is the abuse of power to obtain a sexual benefit or advantage

At the 16th IACC, Sextortion was one of the most important emerging issues to be addressed; it was a ground-breaking session entirely related to sextortion, and it turned out to be one of the most interesting workshops of the conference.

Sextortion panel 16th IACC

The term “sextortion” was coined by the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ) because, they say, “You cannot fight something that does not have a name.” At the IACC, Senior Advisor to the IAWJ  Nancy Hendry coordinated the workshop which was called Sextortion: where corruption and sexual exploitation meet. Explaining why the IAWJ has begun speaking about “sextortion” Hendry said:

“In a moment of clarity, the IAWJ realised that these stories [of women being coerced for sexual favours] were not just about a particular injustice, perpetrated by a particular official in a particular country. They were part of a much broader pattern; a sexualised form of corruption in which sex rather than money is the currency of the bribe.”

Joining Nancy Hendry her on the panel were Engera Kileo Mammari, from the Tanzania Women Judges Association, JP Bonner from Not in My Country, and Dato Han Chee Rull from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commissions (MACC). It was moderated by Ron Nixon, from the New York Times.

According to the panel, sextortion is one of the least well known forms of corruption because the anti-corruption community by and large does not factor this phenomenon into its research nor its advocacy. It is also one of the least reported forms of corruption with victims often feeling shamed or humiliated into silence. The panel recommended some important first steps to tackle sextortion including:

  • The abuse of entrusted power for sexual favour must be universally recognised, prevented and legally sanctioned.
  • Anti-corruption research must integrate sextortion.
  • NGOs must collaborate, the fight against sextortion must be mainstreamed into the work of anti-corruption and pro gender equality organisations.

To find out more about the panel at the 16th IACC, follow this link: Sextortion: where corruption and sexual exploitation meet

To learn more about sextortion, have a look at some of our other articles:

What has sex to do with corruption?

Sextortion: The Worst Kind of Corruption You’ve Never Heard Of

2 cases in 6 years: is Malaysia doing enough to prosecute sextortion?

Or have a look at this post from Transparency International: Sextortion: undermining gender equality

Categories: gender, Sextortion

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