Convenor: Loraine Gelsthorpe, UK


The idea for this Working Group emerged at the ESC conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in September 2009. A number of those present indicated that they would welcome the opportunity to share ideas on gender, crime and criminal justice. Informal discussions then led to a request to formalise the Working Group. Approval was sought from the ESC Executive and granted in 2010. We launched the Working Group at the 2010 conference.

Gender issues are central to the very conception of crime insofar as there has tended to be gender blindness or confusion about gender in both the construction of the law and in criminological theorizing. Gender issues are also important in considerations of both pathways into and out of crime, and they are pertinent to patterns of resilience and desistance. There are also important gender-related issues to consider in relation to social regulation and conceptions of criminal and social justice, including both procedural and substantive dimensions of this. Gender is thus an important consideration in the creation, implementation and operation of the law.


The aims of the Working Group are to encourage networking, foster discussion, stimulate empirical research, enable theoretical development, and encourage critical and comparative work on all matters relating to gender, crime, and criminal justice. In particular, the Working Group relishes the prospect of inter-disciplinary working on topics relating to gender.


  1. To share information and ideas about gender, crime and criminal justice across different European jurisdictions
  2. To offer support to those in the ESC interested in gender dimensions of crime and criminal justice
  3. To identify some comparative research questions - and, in due course, possibly to develop specific funded research collaborations between the members of the Working Group
  4. To organize thematic discussions based around gender at ESC conferences and meetings