Understanding Non-Violent Identities for Safe and Inclusive Cities

At the global level, male homicide rates are roughly double female rates for all age groups. Research has repeatedly confirmed that higher rates of criminal, violent, and delinquent behaviour among males are not biologically based. The gendered nature of violence, according to experts, must be understood as a product of the social context in which the individual is rooted. In other words, it should be seen as a by-product of gender-specific socialization and identity formation. This research provides an opportunity to develop an evidence-base around this theory. Researchers will document how gender socialization links to multiple risk factors in urban settings which shape patterns of insecurity, violence, and inequality. The project will test this approach across two cities characterized by inequality and violence in order to provide a representative sample of how the gendered dimensions of violence play out in distinct environments. The first, Maputo, Mozambique, is an urban centre that has emerged from 30 years of civil war. The second, Rio de Janeiro, is a setting of high urban violence characterized by gang activity and criminal behaviour. Instituto Promundo and its partners will analyze, but not necessarily compare, how gender socialization influences the distinct patterns of violence experienced in each context. The aim is to inform more effective violence prevention strategies that address the connection between gender (in particular, machismo), violence, poverty, and inequalities. This project is part of the Safe and Inclusive Cities (SAIC) research initiative designed to build an evidence base on the connections between urban violence, poverty, and inequalities. Jointly funded by IDRC and the United Kingdom's Department for International Development, the SAIC program also seeks to identify the most effective strategies for addressing these challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean, South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Friday, December 21, 2012


36 months

IDRC Officer

Jennifer Salahub

Total funding

CA$ 499,700


Brazil, Mozambique, United Kingdom, South America, West Indies, South of Sahara


Governance and Justice, Safe and Inclusive Cities

Project Leader

Tatiana Goncalves Moura

Project Leader

Rosemeri T. Orth


Instituto Promundo

Institution Country


Institution Website