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Commemorating International Women’s Day 2022

Commemorating International Women’s Day 2022

As we join the World in commemorating, International Women’s Day, Zimbabwe Civil Liberties and Drug Network (ZCLDN) reflect how gender equality can be advanced in the context of drug use and drug trafficking.

This year’s edition runs under the theme #BreakTheBias. According to the United Nations (UN) Women, while men make up most of those using or trafficking drugs, women are often the invisible participants and victims — one out of three people using drugs is a woman and only one out of five people using drugs on treatment is a woman. A higher proportion of women than men are in prison for drug-related offences. According to the World Drug Report (2020), about 714 000 are female prisoners globally, while males contribute 19% of the 8.6 million prisoners.

Women’s involvement in drug use and the drug trade reflects the decreased economic opportunities and their lower political status compared to men. Women need to have access to health services including Sexual and Reproductive health and Rights (SRHR) and voluntary HIV/AIDS testing, support, counselling as well as rehabilitation and social reintegration services.

A multi-stakeholder approach should involve women at every stage of the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of drug use response programmes in order to counter discrimination against women who use drugs and their children and to ensure that such programmes are easily acceptable and accessible to them. Let’s work towards a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination.


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