This report is one of five documents produced by the International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD) as part of their “Drug War Peace” initiative – relaunched in January 2015. This report focuses on how the war on drugs impacts upon women who use drugs. As the report states:
The so-called ‘war on drugs’ is, in reality, a war on people who use drugs. But this is not a symmetrical war: instead, the war on drugs is a lens through which various other wars are fought, with certain groups being subject to disproportionate abuse, human rights violations, stigma,and police attention. As was noted in the Violations of the Human Rights of People who Use Drugs document of INPUD’s Drug User Peace Initiative, the war on drugs has notably been a war on people of colour, on young people, and on the poor.
In particular, women who use drugs have been subject to gender-specific stigma, discrimination, and social exclusion.
Endemic and widespread sexism, inequality, and discrimination against women in general all intersect with, and exacerbate, the harms and human rights violations to which people who use drugs are subject. Women who use drugs are more heavily stigmatised, as well as being frequently ignored, invisiblised, and sidelined in the formation of policy and approaches to harm reduction and service provision.