Today, to mark the occasion of International Women’s Day 2021, the Centre for Criminology will run a series of blogs throughout the day by some of our early career scholars who are working on gendered issues in the criminal justice and immigration control systems.  In the array of topics, and jurisdictions, we see not only the enduring challenges faced by women around the world, but also, the dynamism of the work of these emerging scholars.

We start with a piece by Jocelyn Hutton and Lucy Harry, who are members of the Death Penalty Research Unit on the scale and experiences of women on death row in Southeast Asia.  Drawing on recent research in Indonesia, Jocelyn and Lucy map the specific vulnerabilities of female drug offenders and call for gender-sensitive sentencing.

The next two posts are by current DPhil students, Lucy Pearce and Anuoluwapo Adebogun, who set out their research projects on the domestic violence. From Lucy, we learn about the importance of understanding police intervention in domestic violence cases, while Anu raises the need for more attention to Black women’s experiences of child to parent violence and the different strategies they deploy to understand how and why they might avoid calling on the criminal justice system for assistance.

The final post, by Newton International Fellow, Dr Francesca Esposito documents the treatment of women in the UK immigration detention system, and points to the gendered violence of their confinement.  Notwithstanding recent moves to decarceration in the immigration detention system in Britain, Francesca discusses recent plans to build a network of new, smaller sites, to hold women seeking asylum, and points to all the reasons why this is a bad idea.

Across all four posts, the authors reveal the specificity of women’s experiences and use them to call for wider social, legal and systemic change. As criminologists, International Women’s Day is an occasion to remember and to highlight the connections between gender and violence and state power.  It is also, however, a day to celebrate women and girls. And so hopefully, after reading these powerful pieces you will join me in congratulating the four young women who have written them.