Gendered perception of crime and safety: Insights from different socio-economic urban neighbourhoods in Ghana
Using findings from a household survey and qualitative interviews, this paper explores the gender differences in the level of crime in three different socio-economic neighbourhoods and about the ways in which violence and security issues affect women and men’s mobility in urban spaces. Generally, crime levels were considered low in all three socio-economic neighbourhoods, but there are issues of insecurity and safety. Males considered their communities to be safer than females, as a higher proportion of females than males felt unsafe walking alone, particularly at night, in their neighbourhoods. The fear of victimization among women was particularly felt in the low and middle-class neighbourhoods, and this was due to the absence of basic infrastructure such as proper lighting systems; the presence of gangsters and drug addicts; as well as limited police presence. In effect, poor urban infrastructure and services contributed to feelings of insecurity in such communities. It is therefore important to improve safety and security measures in all types of neighbourhoods, with particular attention paid to middle and low-class neighbourhoods.
Key words: Gender; crime; safety; urban neighbourhoods; Ghana