A study lead by Sudipta Sarangi, professor and head of the Department of Economics at Virginia Tech, and Chandan Kumar Jha, an assistant professor at Le Moyne College, found that in countries with a greater number of women political leaders, government corruption is lower.
“This research is timely and underscores the importance of women empowerment, their presence in leadership roles, and their representation in government,” Sarangi said in a VT News press release. “It is especially important in light of the fact that women remain underrepresented in politics in most countries, including the United States.”
According to Sarangi, women choose different policies from men, and ultimately the likelihood of bribery is lower in areas with more women leaders. This is especially true in Europe in local-level politics.
The researchers warn that this does not mean every woman is naturally less corrupt. However, they indicate that the implication of the study is that gender equality needs to be promoted, especially in politics.
This study comes as more and more women are running for political office. According to the Washington Post, there are 115 female candidates who are not incumbents who will be on the ballot in November.