Women and the Mafia

  • Giovanni Fiandaca

Part of the STUDIES IN ORGANIZED CRIME book series (SOOC, volume 5)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-VII
  2. Introduction

    1. Giovanni Fiandaca
      Pages 1-5
  3. A History of Women in the Mafia

    1. Front Matter
      Pages I-VII
    2. Monica Massari, Cataldo Motta
      Pages 53-66
    3. Franco Di Maria, Girolamo Lo Verso
      Pages 87-101
    4. Ernesto Savona, Gioacchino Natoli
      Pages 103-106
    5. Alessandra Dino, Raffaella Milia, Anna Maria Milito, Antonino Oliveri
      Pages 107-136
  4. An International Comparison

    1. Front Matter
      Pages I-VII
    2. Fitore Paluca Belay
      Pages 139-148
    3. Adriana Rossi
      Pages 149-179
    4. Denise Frossard
      Pages 181-204
    5. Ryu Otomo
      Pages 205-217
    6. Eva Maria Kallinger
      Pages 219-224
    7. Yakov Gilinsky
      Pages 225-234
    8. Clare Longrigg
      Pages 235-282
  5. Conclusion

    1. Front Matter
      Pages I-VII
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 303-308

About this book


Where is a woman’s place in the mob? Does she even have one? Is the rise in women’s involvement in organized crime the darker side of their increased presence in the legitimate workplace, or simply a reworking of the mafia’s traditional male attitudes cloaked in the guise of women’s emancipation?

The insightful essays in Women and the Mafia seek to answer these questions from a wide range of academic disciplines and trace the portrait of women tied to organized crime in Italy and around the world. This book pulls back the code of silence and shines a light on the dark image of women entangled in organized crime.

The surprising first hand accounts of mafia women in Italy not only reveal women in power, "generals in skirts", but also tales of severe abuse and violence against women.

The book introduces us to the professional women of the Argentine "mafia state", Albanian human traffickers, spies for the Russian mob, runners for Brazilian numbers rackets, and the mystique of the American gangster moll.

"When something is risky, who do they send? Women … My aunt … can kill a person with her bare hands … if she were to see me now … she would shoot me down in the middle of the street; she’s got no problem with that …

My mother made my brother feel like the boss; but she was the one who ran everything; he was the boss on the outside, but my mother had the real power … women are in charge, nothing you can do about it."

Rita Di Giovine, state’s witness against the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta.


Camorra Crime Donne e Mafie Gang Gender Studies Italy Mafia Organized Crime Universita degli studi di Palermo University of Palermo Violence code of silence

Editors and affiliations

  • Giovanni Fiandaca
    • 1
  1. 1.Università degli Studi di PalermoPalermoItaly

Bibliographic information