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Women as offenders – the social and legal circumstances of women who commit crimes: A case study of selected prisons in Malawi

Show simple item record Twea, Stella 2013-02-06T12:17:07Z 2013-02-06T12:17:07Z 2013-02-06
dc.description Submitted in partial fulfilment for the Masters Degree in Women’s Law, Southern and Eastern African Regional Centre for Women’s Law, University of Zimbabwe, 2004 en_ZW
dc.description.abstract This study was conducted in three major prisons in Malawi (Zomba, Maula and Chichiri) between October 2003 and February 2004. It focused on establishing the social and legal circumstances that have shaped the condition and position of the female offender. To do this it was necessary to understand and probe the system of justice delivery and its accessibility to women who commit crimes. The research revealed that before women are confronted with the law, they try to seek redress to their problems by consulting other informal structures of justice delivery such as marriage counsellors and chiefs. This aspect and the testimonies of women themselves brought to light a number of social impediments that determine the status quo for women offenders and the trigger factors in the commission of crime. The research has brought to light a number of socio-legal problems that women who have committed crime face apart from the practical problems that they have in prisons. Poverty, gender, socio-cultural beliefs, illiteracy and marriage relationships are pertinent issues in the woman offender’s story. Legally, the study has established that there are many legal bottlenecks at different points of the criminal justice delivery system and these affect women disproportionately more than men. It is thus imperative that a gender differentiated approach should be used in processing women when they commit crime. The practical problems arising from keeping women as offenders are influenced by the inherent structural problems that prisons have, the physical needs of women stemming from their sex and gender and the failure of the prison system to address the problems in a gender sensitive manner. There are a number of important recommendations en_ZW
dc.language.iso en_ZW en_ZW
dc.subject women offenders en_ZW
dc.subject female prisoners en_ZW
dc.subject community reintegration en_ZW
dc.subject Malawi en_ZW
dc.title Women as offenders – the social and legal circumstances of women who commit crimes: A case study of selected prisons in Malawi en_ZW Tsanga, Amy (Dr.) Zimbabwe en_ZW Womens Law en_ZW Faculty of Law en_ZW University of Zimbabwe en_ZW MA en_ZW Masters Degree in Women’s Law en_ZW Thesis en_ZW 2004

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