Government corruption lower in countries with more women in political leadership roles: study
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Government corruption is less prevalent in countries where there is a greater number of women in political leadership roles, according to a new study released by Virginia Tech on Thursday. 

The study looked at more 125 countries, which were selected by random, and included major democracies like the United States.

Sudipta Sarangi, the head of the Department of Economics at Virginia Tech’s College of Science said in a press release that the new research “underscores the importance of women empowerment, their presence in leadership roles, and their representation in government.” 

“It is especially important in light of the fact that women remain underrepresented in politics in most countries, including the United States,” Sarangi continued.

According to Sarangi and Chandan Kumar Jha, an assistant professor of finance at Le Moyne College in New York who also conducted the study, regions where a greater number of women hold leadership roles have a lower likelihood of bribery, especially in Europe at local-level politics.

“Women policymakers are able to have an impact on corruption because they choose different policies from men. An extensive body of prior research shows women politicians choose policies that are more closely related to the welfare of women, children, and family,” Sarangi said. 

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The two researchers also looked at women who held leadership roles in the labor force, clerical field and the corporate world. 

“The study finds that women’s presence in these occupations is not significantly associated with corruption, suggesting that it is the policymaking role through which women are able to have an impact on corruption,” Sarangi continued.

Though the researchers warn that results from the study do not indicate that every women holding decision-making positions are inherently less corrupt, they inferred from their data that the ratio of more women in political leadership role to less corruption in government is maintained in multiple countries.

The researchers also inferred that the results of the study point toward the importance of promoting the presence of women in the political realm.

The study’s release arrives as more women have expressed interest in running for public office.

EMILY’s List, a group that works to elect women who support abortion rights, said that it has heard from more than 36,000 women who are interested in running in this year's election cycle.