The number of women charged by NSW police for drug offences has increased significantly over the past 10 years, according to a new report from the state Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.
Over the decade ending in June 2013, the number of adult females arrested for ecstasy possession and/or use jumped from 51 to 292, a year-on-year jump of 21.4 per cent.
By contrast, the average annual increase in male offenders for the same charge was 14.3 per cent.
The number of women using or possessing other drugs, dealing and trafficking amphetamines and harassing and threatening others also increased substantially.
While the number of male offenders far outstrips the number of females, the average annual increase in adult female arrests jumped more significantly over the past 10 years, with a rise of 2.5 per cent per year.
The number of adult male arrests increased by 1.7 per cent each year.
Nearly a third of all female offenders were charged for shoplifting (16.3 per cent), domestic assault (9.2 per cent) or non-domestic assault (6.4 per cent). Possession and use of cannabis and malicious damage to property rounded out the top 10 offences for women.
Shoplifting accounted for 3.7 per cent of all male arrests and domestic assault for 10.5 per cent.