The United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders (the Bangkok Rules) adopted by the 193 countries represented at the UN General Assembly in 2010, are the first set of international human rights standards that focus on the specific needs and experiences of women deprived of liberty.

Ten years after the adoption of the Bangkok Rules, implementation remains piecemeal in states across the world, and the number of women in prison has continued to rise dramatically. By 2020, an estimated 741,000 women were incarcerated worldwide, compared to 636,000 in 2010. The global female prison population is estimated to have increased by about 59% from 2000 to 2020.