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Punitive Drug Laws Disproportionately Affect Women. It’s Time for Gender-Responsive Policies

The Impact of Drug Policies on Women (March 17, 2016)

Punitive drug laws pose a heavy burden on women and, in turn, on the children for whom women are often the principal caregivers. Across the globe, women are the fastest growing population in jails and prisons. Women who use drugs are often subjected to disproportionate levels of gender based violence, and many criminal networks that dominate drug markets in Latin America use violence against women to assert control. There is now an emerging body of research outlining a convincing case for gender-responsive drug policies that promote the health and rights of women, particularly those who are most marginalized.

The UN General Assembly Special Session on drugs scheduled for April 2016 is an opportunity to draw attention to the urgent need for gender-sensitive drug policy and programs, and to secure commitments from UN member states to do better.

Listen to a recent panel exploring the gender dimension of drug policy and law above.

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