Women and crime in Zambia

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Sakala, Julius Bikoloni.
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This study of women and crime in Zambia is in fulfilment of the Master of Laws' degree of the University of Zambia. The study has been carried out entirely by research leading to the submission of this dissertation. It entailed extensive travel to Mufulira, Kitwe, Ndola, Kabwe, Lusaka and Livingstone female prisons to gather material which is found mainly in Chapter 5. I received no financial assistance from anyone and hence the shortcomings which appear in the study, particularly with regard to the number of women prisoners interviewed. Nevertheless a total of 81 female prisoners were personally interviewed by me at the various prisons mentioned above. My interest in the topic of women and crime in Zambia was first seriously aroused when I had the opportunity of successfully appealing to the Supreme Court of Zambia on behalf of Rosalyn Thandiwe Zulu in 1981. She had been convicted of the murder of her husband and sentenced to death by the Court below. But when I first submitted my proposal to the appropriate authorities in the School of Law, I was tempted to look at the broader issues of crime and suggested that I do some research on 'The Sociology of Crime in Zambia'. This was partly due to my earlier academic training in Sociology from the University of London (1965). I have found the resemblance in the vocabulary of the disciplines of sociology and the language of law quite striking. I was also intrigued by the fact that in Zambia, as perhaps elsewhere in Africa, old habits die hard and especially traditional attitudes towards women. It is clear from writings of various authors that what Lady Chudleigh wrote in her poem in 1703* that wife and servant were the same but that they were only different in name can be equally true of some men's thinking in Zambia to-day. The importance of research on female criminality cannot, therefore, be over-emphasized. There is a dearth of literature on the subject in Zambia. There is very little known about female criminality by many people especially those concerned with the administration of justice in the country such as legislators, the judges (using the term judge in its wider context), police, social workers, criminologists and other social scientists. It is hoped, therefore, that this study will be the beginning of further efforts to redress the imbalance of literature 01 female criminality in Zambia in particular and also in the neighbouring countries of East Central and Southern Africa. *Anne Bottomley and others (editors), The Cohabitation Book - a Rights of Women's Guide to the Law, Pluto Press Limited - London (1984) 2nd edition at page 1 - Introduction.
Female Criminality