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Francesca is younger, in her thirties, has blond hair, lively blue eyes and lots to say. Their faces reflect the experiences, the sorrow, the hardship of their past lives, what they have left behind and perhaps, their complex present.
Indeed, if one had looked closer, it would have been very difficult to find their consistent presence for two interconnected reasons: Firstly, because of the limited access to reliable empirical material in the field of organized crime; and secondly, because of the ongoing perception that tends to draw stereotypical imagery of women in organized crime as appendixes to their male counterparts, as their mistresses and as sex objects.
Many scholars have argued that organized crime is a topic beyond objective measure.
This special issue of on “Women and Transnational Organized Crime” brings together contributors from academics that are analyzing the involvement of women in a variety of transnational organized crime markets, including human and drug trafficking, across time and socio-cultural space. Over the years, this led to the development of a feminist critique on the accumulated wisdom of female offenders.
In fact, in the past five decades attempts in various fields have been undertaken to explore possible relationships not only between sex and crime, but also gender and crime.
Stereotypes and images of women as weak female figures reinforced the notion that women could not make independent business decisions nor be violent.
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Similar stereotypes have been common in other regions around the world.
Giulia was the partner of an important boss of the Casertano region whom she met at the age of 13.
She was “his children’s mother” and eventually got drawn into the clan’s activities.
It is important to note that, traditionally, criminology has treated women’s role in crime—particularly organized crime—with indifference.
Only a few scholars have tried to study the involvement of women in organized crime activities and this focus has overwhelmingly been on the Italian Mafias and their traditional, mainly local, criminal roles and activities.