Crime/deviance and gender in Sub-Sahara Africa

  • University of Botswana/Midland State University Teaching Research Team


Gaborone, Botswana; Gweru, Zimbabwe

With increasing urbanization and its associated poverty and unemployment in many developing countries, there are also increasing concerns about neighbourhood safety and security issues. As a result, the issue of fear of crime or fear of being a victim of crime has similarly received attention within the urban crime discourse. It has been argued that poor urban infrastructure and services as well as poor planning of urban spaces are contributory factors to feelings of insecurity among urban residents, particularly women and girls. In addition, there have also been arguments that women commit fewer and different crimes than men because of the different nature of their lives and their prescribed gender roles, in the sense that women are more confined to the domestic sphere and therefore expected to be less criminal, while men have more freedom to engage in public and criminal activity. However, most of these arguments and discussions have focused primarily on the Western world, with limited focus on Sub-Saharan Africa and specifically Botswana and Zimbabwe. The unknown is the extent to which Western notions of gendered crime explain such in Sub-Saharan Africa settings. This would contribute greatly to a pool of research focused on the role of safety for social exclusion/inclusion and its effect as one of the objectives. Our students have therefore been developing proposals and collecting data on the various topics they would have come up depicting how the different roles of males and females (gender) are socially constructed in criminality or deviance through systems of social differentiation such as educational systems, political and economic systems, legislation, technology, culture, and traditions.

Research methods

  • Qualitative interviews
  • Surveys
  • Focused group discussions
  • Literature review
  • Data analysis

SDG #11 Target



Teaching Team

University of Botswana

Dr. Lesedi Mashumba, Email:

Dr. Esther Orlando-Nkhukhu, Email: Orlandoe@UB.AC.BW

Midlands State University

Dr. Patience Chadambuka, Email: