Consolidoc fellow joins renowned speakers at Gender & Corruption Symposium

Luckmore Chivandire and Munya Saruchera at this week’s Gender & Corruption Symposium.

CONSOLIDOC fellows at the Africa Centre for HIV/Aids Management have the opportunity to delve deeper into certain aspects of their PhD research and to raise their research profile. Our most recent consolidoc appointment, Dr Luckmore Chivandire, is making the most of this opportunity. 

Luckmore did a presentation at the first Gender and Corruption Symposium organised by ACCERUS (Anti-Corruption Centre for Education and Research), affiliated to the School of Public Leadership at Stellenbosch University. The symposium brought together speakers and panellists from across sectors to discuss two highly topical sustainable development goals: gender equality as a fundamental human right and the foundation of a prosperous society, and corruption as one of the most critical obstacles to achieving much-needed gender reform and sustainable development.

Luckmore formed part of a panel who presented on and discussed the impact of corruption on healthcare – a theme he is deeply passionate about and that was the focus of his PhD research. Originally from Zimbabwe, he has witnessed first-hand how corruption in Africa specifically translates into a vast disconnect between rich resources and poor, disempowered citizens, with anti-corruption strategies having little effect. 

Dr Munya Saruchera, senior lecturer at the Africa Centre, was one of the other panellists. Munya was one of Luckmore’s PhD supervisors and is also the supervisor for his consolidoc fellowship. He focused on the gender-specific poverty outcomes of healthcare corruption, specifically in low- to middle-income countries. Munya highlighted how corruption disproportionately affects women and girls (among other vulnerable groups), who depend on public healthcare services and face gender-specific risks such as reproductive health (pregnancy and delivery), illiteracy and lack of own income. 

Apart from the impact on their short- and long-term health, women’s capacity to participate in education and employment are also negatively affected by corrupt practices. For anti-corruption strategies to be effective, Munya pointed out the importance of risk assessments (i.e. focusing on the potential for and prevention of corruption, instead of on the perception, existence or extent of corruption) and following an interdisciplinary, rights-based approach that empowers women to become positive agents for change in the fight against corruption.

The three-day symposium explored multiple other aspects of gender and corruption, including women entrepreneurship, ethics and accountability, poverty, gender-based violence, stakeholder collaboration, good governance and whistleblowing and social behaviour, drawing on the specialist expertise of speakers from across Africa and abroad, including the UK, USA and India, who represented the public, private, non-governmental and civil society sectors.  

With many of these aspects speaking to Luckmore’s key research interests, the opportunity to attend such an event and get first-hand access to experts in the field provides fertile ground for further research ideas and collaborations. That’s exactly what our consolidoc fellowships are about: making the most of the wider, active research community to make an impact.