Gender Quotas and the Re(pro)duction of Corruption

  • Elin Bjarnegård
  • Mi Yung Yoon
  • Pär Zetterberg
Part of the Political Corruption and Governance book series (PCG)


Bjarnegård, Yoon, and Zetterberg’s chapter examines whether electoral gender quotas reduce or reproduce corruption. The chapter suggests that quotas may reduce corruption only if they provide a clean slate, i.e., if quota candidates are recruited from new networks and are given their own mandate to act on a range of issues once in parliament. However, quotas are likely to instead reproduce corruption if quota candidates are recruited from existing networks and are expected to protect an already corrupt party line. The authors apply the theoretical framework to an empirical case—Tanzania—and suggest that the latter scenario is most likely in stable electoral authoritarian regimes.


  1. Baldez, L. (2006). The pros and cons of gender quota laws: What happens when you kick men out and let women in? Politics & Gender, 2(1), 102–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barnes, T. D., & Beaulieu, E. (2014). Gender stereotypes and corruption: How candidates affect perceptions of election fraud. Politics & Gender, 10(3), 365–391.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bjarnegård, E. (2013). Gender, informal institutions and political recruitment: Explaining male dominance in parliamentary representation. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bjarnegård, E., & Melander, E. (2013). Revisiting representation: Communism, women in politics, and the decline of armed conflict in East Asia. International Interactions, 39(4), 558–574.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bjarnegård, E., & Zetterberg, P. (2011). Removing quotas, maintaining representation: Overcoming gender inequalities in political party recruitment. Representations, 47(2), 187–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bjarnegård, E., & Zetterberg, P. (2014). Why are representational guarantees adopted for women and minorities? Comparing constituency formation and electoral quota design within countries. Representations, 50(3), 307–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bjarnegård, E., & Zetterberg, P. (2016a). Gender equality reforms on an uneven playing field. Candidate selection and quota implementation in Tanzania. Government and Opposition, 51(3), 464–486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bjarnegård, E., & Zetterberg, P. (2016b). Political parties and gender quota implementation. The role of bureaucratized candidate selection procedures. Comparative Politics, 48(3), 393–417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bush, S. S. (2011). International politics and the spread of quotas for women in legislatures. International Organization, 65(1), 103–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chappell, L. (2015). The politics of gender justice at the international criminal court. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Dahlerup, D. (2007). Electoral gender quotas: Between equality of opportunity and equality of result. Representations, 43(2), 73–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dollar, D., Fisman, R., & Gatti, R. (2001). Are women really the “fairer” sex? Corruption and women in government. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 26(4), 423–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Esarey, J., & Chirillo, G. (2013). “Fairer sex” or purity myth? Corruption, gender, and institutional context. Politics & Gender, 9(4), 361–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Franceschet, S., Krook, M. L., & Piscopo, J. M. (Eds.). (2012). The impact of gender quotas. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Goetz, A. M. (2003). The problem with patronage: Constraints on women’s political effectiveness in Uganda. In A. M. Goetz & S. Hassim (Eds.), No shortcuts to power. African women in politics and policy making. London/New York: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  16. Goetz, A. M. (2007). Political cleaners: Women as the new anti-corruption force. Development and Change, 38(1), 87–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Grimes, M., & Wängnerud, L. (2010). Curbing corruption through social welfare reform? The effects of Mexico’s conditional cash transfer program on good government. The American Review of Public Administration, 40(6), 671–690.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hassim, S. (2009). Perverse consequences? The impact of quotas on democratization in Africa. In I. Shapiro, S. Stokes, E. Wood, & A. Kirschner (Eds.), Political representation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Hinojosa, M. (2012). Selecting women, electing women: Political representation and candidate selection in Latin America. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Hughes, M. M., Krook, M. L., & Paxton, P. (2015). Transnational women’s activism and the global diffusion of gender quotas. International Studies Quarterly, 59(2), 357–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kenny, M. (2013). Gender and political recruitment. Theorizing institutional change. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Krook, M. L. (2009). Quotas for women in politics: Gender and candidate selection reform worldwide. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Murray, R. (2010). Parties, gender quotas and candidate selection in France. Basingstoke/New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Rahat, G. (2009). Which candidate selection method is the most democratic? Government and Opposition, 44(1), 68–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Schedler, A. (2002). The menu of manipulations. Journal of Democracy, 13(2), 36–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Stensöta, H., Wängnerud, L., & Svensson, R. (2015). Gender and corruption: The mediating power of institutional logics. Governance, 28(4), 475–496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Stockemer, D. (2011). Women’s parliamentary representation in Africa: The impact of democracy and corruption on the number of female deputies in national parliaments. Political Studies, 59(3), 693–712.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sundström, A., & Wängnerud, L. (2016). Corruption as an obstacle to women’s political representation: Evidence from local councils in 18 European countries. Party Politics, 22(3), 354–369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sung, H.-E. (2003). Fairer sex or fairer system? Gender and corruption revisited. Social Forces, 82(2), 703–723.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Swamy, A., Knack, S., Lee, Y., & Azfar, O. (2001). Gender and corruption. Journal of Development Economics, 64(64), 25–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Tripp, A. (2001a). Women’s movements and challenges to neopatrimonial rule: Preliminary observations from Africa. Development and Change, 32, 33–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Tripp, A. M. (2001b). The politics of autonomy and cooptation in Africa: The case of the Ugandan women’s movement. The Journal of Modern African Studies, 39(1), 101–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Waylen, G. (2007). Engendering transitions: Women’s mobilization, institutions, and gender outcomes. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Yoon, M. Y. (2008). Special seats for women in the national legislature: The case of Tanzania. Africa Today, 55(1), 61–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Yoon, M. Y. (2011). More women in the Tanzanian legislature: Do numbers matter? Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 29(1), 83–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Yoon, M. Y. (2013). Special seats for women in parliament and democratization: The case of Tanzania. Women’s Study International Forum, 41, 143–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Yoon, M. Y. (2016). Beyond quota seats for women in the Tanzanian legislature. Canadian Journal of African Studies/Revue Canadian des études, 50(2), 191–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Zetterberg, P. (2009b). Engineering equality? Assessing the multiple impacts of electoral gender quotas. Ph.D. Dissertation, Uppsala University, Sweden.Google Scholar

Newspapers, Reports and Website

  1. Quota Database (2016). International Institute for Democratic and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), Stockholm Universitet, and Inter-Parliamentary Union. Accessed 12 May 2016.
  2. Inter-Parliamentary Union. (2016). Women in parliament. Accessed 31 Mar 2016.
  3. Kenyunko, K. (2016, April 1). Members of parliament in court over graft scandal. Guardian. Accessed 1 Apr 2016.
  4. Msekwa, P. (2015, November 19). A manual for members of parliament: Assisting newly-elected MPs to understand rules of procedure. Daily News. http:// Accessed 20 Nov 2015.
  5. National Electoral Commission. (1997). The report of the national electoral commission on the 1995 presidential and parliamentary elections. In Dar es Salaam. Tanzania: National Electoral Commission.Google Scholar
  6. National Electoral Commission. (2015). List of elected parliamentarians.
  7. Transparency International. (2016). Table of results: Corruption perceptions index 2015. Accessed 29 Mar 2016.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elin Bjarnegård
    • 1
  • Mi Yung Yoon
    • 2
  • Pär Zetterberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GovernmentUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  2. 2.Department of International StudiesHanover CollegeHanoverUSA

Personalised recommendations