Showing the Link Between Corruption and Gender Equality

By Di Luong | A spotlight on a Sprint for Internet Health project

Image courtesy of Veronica Portugal Chaves

Paideia Civica is creating awareness about the linkages between corruption and gender equality, specifically women and girls, through openness and storytelling.

I interviewed Veronica Portugal Chaves to learn more about Paideia Civica and The Women Against Corruption Project and how you can contribute to the work.

Paideia Civica is the name of my nonprofit organization. The Women Against Corruption Project is one of the initiatives of my non profit to create awareness about the linkages between corruption and gender equality, specifically the differentiated impacts of corruption on women and girls over men. At the same time, the project seeks to create data about the mentioned linkages. There is information on the internet about gender violence but not information on how corruption is something that helps to increase the gender gap.

I created Paideia Civica/The Women Against Corruption Project in 2015.The mission of this organization is to build capacity to address corruption through innovative programs that can bring engagement and changes in policy. The Women Against Corruption Project was born as part of my role as United Nations Champion for Women Empowerment where I tried to link these topics. We started to organize local events with universities and colleges in Mexico to create awareness about both topics and also as a way to end the macho culture. Soon, we realized this was a global issue that needed our advocacy in international forums such as the G20 Summit. During the civil society summit in Buenos Aires in 2018, we cosponsored the workshop #corruptiontoo to call world leaders to address the linkages between corruption and gender.

We have two major goals:

  1. To raise awareness about the differentiated impacts of corruption on gender equality, and
  2. Collect data about the mentioned differentiated impacts.

Our participation in Mozilla Open Leaders will help us to scale the social impact of our project in addition to the previous work we have done before by using the internet as another platform for our informational campaigns. We wish to use storytelling as a tool to collect data directly from community members and developing a platform to present these stories for advocates and journalists.

Our work face the duel challenges of 1) changing the macho culture and prejudices against gender equality and 2) raising public awareness about how women in particular are impacted by corruption. People on the outside looking in find it difficult to understand how these two topics are intertwined.

Passion and will to help, good writing skills, and acumen with internet or online research.

Please research any cases on gender violence or corruption that occurred in your community, write a blog post about it and send it to To show how gender violence and corruption are linked, let’s demonstrate how crimes like human trafficking and sex exploitation indicate a chain of corruption and are highly gender sensitive. Also, immigrant trafficking is a form of gendered crime that mostly impact women and girls. Femicides can remain unpunished if authorities fail to deliver justice because they are bribed. The economic gap between genders widen when women are more likely required than men to bribe officials for access to education or health. There are also known cases where social public programs designed to address the gender economic gap have been mismanaged. Here is an example of the type of blog posts we are looking for. This is a famous case in my country where two femicides and judge bribery were involved. In our website, you can read the guidelines for more information.

Title: Femicides of Rubí Marisol Frayre and Marisela Escobedo

Type of gender violence: Femicide

Type of corruption: by omission, impunity, presumed buy of judges from organized crime.

City: Ciudad Juárez

Country: Mexico

Year: 2008

Marisela Escobedo started her social advocacy efforts after the murder of her 16 years old daughter Rubí Marisol Fayre Escobedo in 2008 in the City of Juarez, Mexico. Escobedo pointed out the partner of her daughter Sergio Rafael Barraza (linked to organized crime band of the Zetas) as the presumed responsible. With her own resources, she could locate Barraza in Zacatecas where he was arrested and took to Juarez. Once in Juarez, he confessed to be the author of the crime. He even confessed where he buried the remains of Rubí. Even with all the evidence, the judges found Sergio Barraza as innocent. This judges´s rule started an international scandal where Marisela became famous.Marisela started protests against the authorities of the state of Chihuahua requesting the arrest of Sergio Barraza. Marisela appealed the judges´s resolution and Barraza was found guilty but he fled. After other protests, Marisela was murdered in front of the government state palace.


Further reading & resources:

To define my vision, goals, expected outcomes and how to work open


Join us wherever you are during the month of May at Mozilla’s Sprint for Internet Health to work on many amazing open projects! Join a diverse network of scientists, educators, artists, engineers and others in person and online to hack and build projects for a health Internet.

This post by Di Luong is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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