19 Sep 2022

Living on the edge: women and organised crime in East Africa

Based on ground-breaking research from the DRC, Kenya and Uganda, this paper explores women's roles in organised crime.

Women play a range of roles in the grey economy on the fringes of organised criminal activities in East Africa. Using studies of illegal coltan mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo, sand trafficking in Kenya and wildlife crime in Uganda, this paper sets out the conundrum they face – the roles that give them agency and economic empowerment are those that law enforcement and social development interventions seek to dismantle. Can current responses be adapted to improve their lives?

About the author

Romi Sigsworth is a Research Consultant with the ENACT programme of the ISS. She was previously the Gender Specialist at the ISS and a Senior Researcher at the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation. She has an MSt in Women’s Studies from the University of Oxford.

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ENACT is funded by the European Union
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ENACT is implemented by the Institute for Security Studies in partnership with
INTERPOL and the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime.