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Gender mainstreaming in the UNCAC

The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) is the “only legally binding universal anti-corruption instrument”. While the convention’s legal text does not reference gender, there are increasing efforts to apply a gender sensitive approach in UNCAC implementation, especially by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) by integrating a gender perspective into “every stage of the programming cycle”. A gender sensitive approach is seen as more advantageous than gender neutral mechanisms (which in reality are gender blind) in adequately addressing anti-corruption interventions by considering the concerns and experiences of “men” and “women”.

29 September 2021
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Gender mainstreaming in the UNCAC

Main points

  • The UNCAC’s legal text does not reference gender, and women or gender are taken into consideration in only three resolutions from the UNCAC’s Conference of the States Parties.
  • Gender mainstreaming must go beyond looking at gender as a single dimension to include intersectional factors such as age; sex; sexual orientation; gender identity and expression; race and ethnicity; and religion or belief.
  • Recognition of gendered forms of corruption, such as sexual extortion (sextortion), which disproportionately affects women, is vital to addressing the impacts of corruption on more vulnerable groups.
  • Collecting gender-disaggregated data, adopting specific resolutions on gender and corruption, cooperation and synergies with other international processes and bodies, and strengthening attention to gender in UNODC’s programmes are illustrative entry points to mainstreaming gender in the UNCAC process.

Cite this publication

Rahman, K.; (2021) Gender mainstreaming in the UNCAC . Bergen: U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Helpdesk Answer 2021:14)

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About the author

Kaunain Rahman

Kaunain received her Master's in Corruption and Governance from The Centre for the Study of Corruption at the University of Sussex in the UK where her focus area of research was corruption in international business. She works as Research Coordinator at Transparency International (TI), and her main responsibilities lie with the Anti-Corruption Helpdesk.


All views in this text are the author(s)’, and may differ from the U4 partner agencies’ policies.

This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)