• This chapter explored the emergence of feminist perspectives within criminology from the late 1960s and early 1970s. The concern of early pioneering feminist criminologists began with making visible and correcting the distorted constructions of the female offender; we then see a considerable shift in making visible the female victim with a focus on exposing the hidden nature of violence(s) against women; and lastly, an appreciation of the gendered nature and experiences of women working within the criminal justice system.
  • We have also emphasized the considerable tensions, conflicts, limitations and challenges that lie within feminist criminology. Feminist criminologists have been criticized for failing to acknowledge the often unintended and ruinous consequences of their own investigations and theorizations of women – sometimes leading to increased control and repression of women. Feminist criminology has also been critiqued for its failure to acknowledge the intersectionalities that exist between women.
  • Despite such critiques, we argue that the theorization of gender within criminology has undergone significant transformations since the 1960s – feminist criminology has matured over time and there have been some ground-breaking achievements in the field, with an increased awareness of the gendered nature of offending, victimization and social control over the past 50 years.
  • In mapping out new directions for feminist criminology, we argue that the adoption of a human rights lens to the study of gender and crime is a constructive way forward in making sense of the experiences of vulnerable groups; it also offers us opportunities to link the ‘local’ to the ‘global’ and increases the opportunity to hold the state more accountable in ensuring fairness, justice and equality.