54% women paid bribe to get government services

New Delhi: About 54 per cent of Indian women reported they paid bribes to get government services and 33 per cent said officials called them repeatedly to harass them, according to a survey report published by Transparency International India (TII).

TII published a report on “The Gender Dimension of Corruption: Issues and Challenges” on the eve of the International Women’s Day. The survey covered 1,100 respondents in rural areas and 3,500 in urban settings.

It says that 38 per cent citizens feel that more women in position of responsibility/power will lead to less bribery.

It also said 35 per cent women reported that they were asked directly to pay bribe to get benefits under the government schemes.

According to the findings, a majority of both male and female respondents felt that there was a link between corruption and gender.

“Both females and males agree that women are not as susceptible to corruption as men,” said the report.

“Thirty-eight per cent citizens feel more women in position of responsibility/power will lead to less bribery where as only 5 per cent” felt so, it added.

About 37 per cent citizens feel women were prone to corruption then men and 57 per cent citizens feel that men were more prone/vulnerable to be being asked for bribes, according to the report.

The result suggests urban women were less likely to be asked for bribe.

“(A total of) 54 per cent of women reported that they paid the bribe for obtaining government services and 43 per cent said that they did not have to pay any bribe for obtaining government services,” said the report.

“Thirty-three per cent women reported that the officials called them repeatedly to harass them. (A total of) 93 per cent women were not aware about the Right to Information Act.

“Only 4 per cent responded that they were aware about the Right to Information Act where as 9% (more than double) men were aware about Right to Information Act in rural area,” it added.