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This article examines female crime rates in twenty-seven countries over the past thirty-five years. The results show that there has been an overall increase in total crime rates for all of the countries, and that the more economically advanced and industrialized countries have higher crime rates than the less developed nations. All countries also experienced an increase in the percent of all crimes committed by women. The percentages of violent crimes committed by women--specifically homicide and robbery--were consistently low across countries and increased only slightly over time. The percentages of property and financial crimes committed by women--specifically theft and fraud--were consistently higher than the percentages for violent crimes, and have increased more substantially over time. In addition, an analysis of the most recent data revealed a positive and significant relationship between women's overall crime rates and the countries' economic development. In those countries in which women occupy a hig her status, as measured by formal years of schooling and representation in the labor force, we found some positive and significant correlations with the arrest rates for theft and fraud. There were also some strong negative relationships between female arrest rates for homicide and their status in society.
In this article on women and crime the world over we continue a tradition that began some 25 years ago when Rita J. Simon wrote Women and Crime. On page one of her 1975 book she anticipated that: 
As women become more liberated from hearth and home and become more involved in full-time jobs, they are more likely to engage in the types of crimes for which their occupations provide them with the greatest opportunities. As a function both of expanded consciousness, as well as occupational opportunities, women's participation in crime is expected to change and increase.
But the increase will not be uniform or stable across crimes. Women's participation in property and white collar offenses [fraud, embezzlement, larceny, and forgery] should increase as their opportunities for employment in higher status occupations expand. Women's participation in crimes of violence, especially homicide and manslaughter, are not expected to increase. The reasoning here is that women's involvement in such acts typically arises out of the frustration, the subservience, and the dependency that have characterized the traditional female role. Case histories of women who kill reveal that one pattern dominates all others. When women can no longer contain their frustrations and their anger, they express themselves by doing away with the cause of their condition, most often a man, sometimes a child. As women's employment and educational opportunities expand, their feelings of being victimized and exploited will decrease, and their motivation to kill will become muted.
The 1975 volume also included an appendix that compared female arrest rates in major offense categories for 25 countries in 1963, 1968, and 1970. In essence, Simon compared the proportion of female arrest rates for different types of crimes across societies that differed in their economic development, their political ideology, and their religious and social values. In that piece she raised and answered these questions:
1. Has female visibility in crime increased?
2. Has it increased for certain types of offenses?
3. Has it increased in different types of societies?
For example, she questioned: 
...are women more likely to be arrested for property and white-collar offenses in the technologically and economically more advanced societies of Western Europe in which presumably they comprise a larger portion of the commercial labor force than they are in the more traditional societies of Africa and Asia? And are women in the latter societies more likely to be apprehended for crimes of violence, the targets of which are usually relatives or persons to whom they feel bound?
Briefly, the results showed that over the three time periods the countries that had the highest overall crime rates for men and women were more economically and technologically advanced. The countries that had the highest female arrest rates for property offenses were primarily those in which a large proportion of the women were employed outside the homes in commercial occupations. There was no relationship between countries that had high female arrest rates for violent offenses and those that had high female arrest rates for property offenses.
Simon next reported on these issues in 1991, in The Crimes Women Commit, The Punishments They Receive.  Specifically she sought to answer the following questions:
1. Have there been significant increases in female participation in criminal activities generally?
2. Have increases occurred in specific crime categories, and if they have, are the crimes more likely to be of a violent nature or in the realm of property offenses?
3. If there have been increases, have they occurred across all societies?
Table 1 presents the total crime rates for the twenty-seven nations examined in the 1991 book over the three time periods in descending order based on the crime rate in period A. The data indicate that Australia, the United States, Finland, and the Netherlands--all highly industrialized countries--produced the largest increases across the three periods.
In summary, the data presented in the 1991 publication showed that total crime rates and total arrest rates increased at about the same pace, and that the female arrest rates correlated strongly with the overall arrest rates. Examination of the data on female involvement in homicide showed a slight decline across the three time periods. Female arrests for major larceny (defined from 1981 on as robbery) remained steady at a relatively low percentage. Female arrests for minor larceny (defined from 1981 on as theft) increased, but did not attain the levels anticipated by many researchers in the 1970s.
Simon then examined the percentages of women in the labor force and in institutions of higher education in the 31 societies against women's crime rates. Overall, there were few significant correlations between female crime rates and either of the two socio-economic indicators mentioned above. In addition to the two demographic indicators, she also arrayed societies by levels of economic opportunity (the private consumption of the gross domestic product divided by the population) and industrialization (the percentage of the work force engaged in industry). Computing correlations between each of those measures and female homicide, major larceny, and minor larceny, she found high positive correlations between female minor larceny and both societal indicators in all three time periods.
...over the nineteen-year time span, there were comparable levels of increase among crime, arrest, and female arrest rates from 1962 through 1980. The fears raised in the late 1960s and early 1970s that women's participation in crime would soon be commensurate with their representation in the population clearly were not realized. For homicide and major larceny, the percentages of female offenders actually decreased slightly. Thus, at least among the thirty-one countries for which longitudinal data were available, women continued to play relatively minor roles in those societies' violent criminal activities. 
This article reports crime data on 27 of the original 31 countries from 1981 through 1995. We continued to use INTERPOL as our source for crime statistics, and the United Nations and the International Labor Office as our sources for societal indicators. We examined the …