Engendering Crime Prevention: International Developments and the Canadian Experience

By Shaw, Margaret; Andrew, Caroline | Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, April 2005 | Go to article overview

Engendering Crime Prevention: International Developments and the Canadian Experience


Shaw, Margaret, Andrew, Caroline, Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice


Cet article traite de l'absence d'une approche sexospecifique en matiere de prevention du crime au Canada et a l'etranger. Les auteurs font valoir la necessite d'integrer dans une demarche sexospecifique les initiatives axees respectivement sur la violence a l'endroit des femmes et la protection des femmes, particulierement au niveau des municipalites. Ils invoquent le travail accompli pour la protection des femmes et le renforcement du role des femmes dans la prise de decision au palier du gouvernement local. Dans la premiere partie de l'article, ils passent en revue les politiques et pratiques en vigueur dans le monde en matiere de protection des femmes, les nouveautes et dernieres tendances enregistrees en la matiere, ainsi que certains des problemes et des questions qui se posent--champs d'expertise et d'activite separes qui semblent s'etre developpes sur les themes respectifs de la violence a l'endroit des femmes et de la protection des femmes; emergence de la perspective sexospecifique, isolation de ces domaines d'activite de la prevention du crime en general. Dans la seconde partie de l'article, les auteurs evaluent les realisations canadiennes en matiere d'integration de la perspective sexospecifique dans la prevention du crime et formulent des recommandations en ce sens, particulierement au palier local.

Introduction

This article is concerned with the relative absence of gender in crime prevention in Canada and internationally. It considers the development of work on women's safety and violence against women, and the emergence of the concept of gender, and argues that there is a need to integrate them into a concerted, gendered approach. Such an approach should be supported at national and regional levels but is particularly important at the level of municipalities. The article draws on developing work on women's safety, gender, and the role of women in decision making, especially in local government.

The first part of the article reviews international policy and practice on women's safety. It discusses not only some of the trends and developments, but also the problems and questions raised in the course of the review. These relate to the apparently separate worlds of expertise and activity that have grown up around violence against women and women's safety, the lack of understanding of the concept of gender, and the isolation of both areas of work from mainstream crime prevention. The second part evaluates Canadian successes and weaknesses in engendering crime prevention and formulates some priorities for future action that will help to embed and sustain engendered practice, particularly at the local level.

International trends

As part of its work on women's safety, gender, and crime prevention, the International Centre for the Prevention of Crime (ICPC) has undertaken a review of international policy and practice (Shaw and Capobianco 2004). (1) The review, published as Developing Trust: International Approaches to Women's Safety, highlighted the separation of work relating to the safety of women from violence but, more importantly, the absence of discourse or research that touches on gender and crime prevention. It became clear that in order to develop a more comprehensive preventive approach to promote the safety of women in all societies, we need to take a much broader view of violence against women, women's safety, gender, and crime prevention.

Problems of understanding and definition

The starting point for this work was a request from Canada's National Crime Prevention Centre (NCPC) to look at what was happening internationally in relation to the prevention of violence against women. Compared with some countries, a considerable amount of policy and research on violence against women had been produced in Canada up to 2000; the most recent examples included Violence Prevention and the Girl Child (Status of Women Canada 1999a) and a Policy Framework for Addressing Personal Security Issues Concerning Women and Girls (Canada, NCPC 2000).

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