DESPITE Tanzania’s impressive progress on both the fight against corruption and the promotion of gender equality, the notion of “gender based corruption” has not attracted enough attention.
This corruption exists in all sectors of employment (public, private and civil society), but it seemingly appears even higher amongst the private employers.
According to informants, the recruitment in this domain is very often conducted on the basis of subjective criteria, thus exposing the employees, especially those of female sex, to practices of gender based corruption in order to preserve the favors of their employers or their hierarchical superior.
The different forms of gender based corruption can be classified in two main categories: access to undue advantages and the deprivation of advantages one is entitled to, even though the most common form is the use of sexually suggestive language.
The causes of gender based corruption in work place include poverty, unemployment, lack of self-confidence, ignorance of rights by the employees, greed, comfort and abuse of power as well as loss of moral values.
In a recent survey conducted by Tanzania Media Women Association (TAMWA), the practice of gender based corruption exists during human resource management processes, particularly recruitment and determination of salary.
Women are perceived to be less corruptible compared to men, especially when it comes to proposing bribery. This is precisely the reason why women are often denied the opportunity to access various services, such as consultancy and access to other types of tenders.
The strategies of fighting against gender based corruption in the work place should include the mechanisms of gender equality, a clear procedure of staff recruitment and an equitable remuneration policy of the employees within all organizations, and especially of those from the private sector.
The sensitization of employees to demystify this corruption and to report it, independent audit of recruitment processes and human resource management within the organization, education of the employees on their rights as well as creation of a favorable environment for debate among women employees might also contribute to reduce the scale of the phenomenon.
Sextortion, which is another name for sex corruption, is a form of corruption that employs non-physical forms of coercion to extort sexual favors from the victim.
In most cases, those entrusted with power, for example educators, government officials or judges, abuse authority to suit sexual fantasies.
Sexual corruption is a widespread phenomenon in Tanzania. While the distasteful trend has been in existence for years, its subliminal nature, owing to unreported cases, has enabled it to flourish.