Paradoxes Behind Women and Corruption
The Indonesia’s Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) finally detained some women. It is sad to acknowledge that women implicated in corruption shows a soaring trend in the country’s current political landscape.
In fact, many studies have shown that there is a link between higher representation of women in public institutions and lower levels of corruption. Yet it indicates otherwise in Indonesia at the moment, which comes up with some paradoxes.
First, paradox of women’s political role. Low women’s political participation in Indonesia, less than a 30% quota on the number of female representatives of individual political parties, does not prevent them from getting involved in perverting course of mobility such as corruption.
While women’s limited participation in the public sphere makes them more likely to be excluded from networks that propagate corrupt activities, some who get out of their traditional sphere and play with socio-political role tend to get disoriented despite its small participation.
Things get worse as female public engagement activities enjoy proper treatment and positive thinking from public on behalf of empowerment. People believe that increasing women’ political role and public engagement activities are respected mobility that should be maintained.
Such a trend, however, has a consequence of less strict control of the irregularity and deviation done by women. Assorted graft cases involving female figures might confirm the improper and false public tolerance.
Second, paradox of women emancipation. Granted emancipation of women has succeeded in providing them with real freedom and generating their own rights. It is too bad that the improvement does not necessarily lead to legal awareness and literacy.
The failure to do so would make noble emancipation of women get caught up in monstrous abuse of power. Women’s struggle for emancipation is supposed to set the scene for their empowerment and dedication instead of advocating for evil motives.
Those cases suggest there is little evidence that women tend to stay away from corruption. According to KPK, the number of female corruptors the KPK has arrested is still far fewer than their male counterparts, but the future could see that gap closing as an increasing number of women take up senior posts at public institutions and in the legislature.
Women emancipation would be in vain as the movement fails to get rid of an unquenchable appetite to have more power and possession, fueling women to exploit loopholes and opportunities for their personal gain. The women’s struggle for emancipation, actually, is instrumental in taming and putting the power back to its sacred position bolstered by mutual control and critical culture.
Third, paradox of motherhood. Strong emotional engagement and empathy does not make women or moms free from getting involved in corruption. Parenting leadership, which is inherent in female figures, has the opportunity to deviate from its holy nature once it is subject to greed. Pure sense of motherhood will be detached from its nature every time it has no immunity to the temptations of power mixed by idolatry of wealth and ‘survival of the fittest’ principle.
It is important to note that tarnished sense of motherhood is getting complicated while the female figures have serious problems in the domestic affair—at home—from the outset prior to their political and social involvement or enjoy consciously cult personality in any particular organizations.
Representing eastern culture and values, Indonesian women who usually exert stress upon harmonization have disoriented towards domination due to excessive charm of covetousness. It makes sense since less altruistic affection—owing to strong domination—might cause wild and egoistic motherhood, which in turn paves the way for reprehensible acts such as corruption and abuse of power.
The writer, a graduate of the University of Canberra, Australia, is a lecturer in the School of Cultural Sciences at Andalas University, Padang.