How Sextortion and Land Rights Collide

Land Portal has published a blog post from Ms. Nicole Mathot titled: “Sextortion: the hidden face of land corruption.” In the article, Ms. Mathot addresses the ways in which sextortion is present in land corruption. IAWJ’s Senior Advisor, Nancy Hendry, was consulted in the creation of this article.

Sexual extortion is a pervasive but often hidden form of corruption. Instead of money as a bribe, sexual favors are extorted in exchange for the provision of services or goods. This degrading abuse of power also touches the land sector, but remains largely hidden and unaddressed. Power dynamics and traditional gender roles make women particularly vulnerable to this specific type of corruption. Apart from causing great individual harm, ‘sextortion’ impacts society as a whole: it undermines gender equity, democracy, trust in public institutions, economic development, peace and stability.

Ms. Nicole Mathot

Ms. Mathot explains that, “while awareness of land corruption as a global phenomenon has increased, few studies focus on the inter-linkages between land corruption and gender and even less is known about the way corruption affects women differently from men.” In fact, one in five people are reported to have paid a bribe for land services.

Due to inequality and discrimination, especially in less developed countries, women are more affected by land corruption than men, she says. “Such corruption may vary from payment of bribes to community leaders and land officials to obtain access to land or to obtain a land deed, to multinational investors appropriating land traditionally worked by women.” Moreover, the author states that land scarcity also increases violence against women.

“Above all, it is important to mainstream sextortion in anti-corruption laws with the aim to penalize sextortion to the same extent as similar acts of corruption involving financial favors. However, whereas inclusion of sextortion in the legal framework is paramount, it is no guarantee for tackling the problem,” Ms. Mathot adds.

Read the full article here.