CASO, GAT and WHRIN
at the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
82nd session NGO meeting June 2022
Ligia Parodi presenting a shadow brief on the situation for women who use drugs in Portugal on behalf of CASO, GAT and WHRIN at the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) 82nd session NGO meeting June 13, 2022.
To view the recording, click this link https://media.un.org/en/asset/k13/k13zxxx8gf and forward to 27:00 to see Ligia in action.
Thank you Madam Chair. Good afternoon everyone.
My name is Ligia Parodi and I am speaking on behalf of CASO and GAT, which are both organizations working with people who use drugs in Portugal and also WHRIN, a global network led by women who use drugs.
While decriminalisation of drugs in Portugal has been associated with advances on almost every other metric, gender blindness in policy and practice is still evident.
Portuguese women who use drugs have been effectively excluded from health sector with services designed for women who use drugs largely unavailable and male-dominated.
Women who use drugs have been left out in responses to gender based violence and are frequently treated as responsible for the violence they have experienced. An evident “blind spot’ exists in reporting mechanisms, legal aid, housing and social services.
Violations are also evident in parental rights.
We strongly recommend meaningful community involvement and gender sensitivity in all policy and services impacting women who use drugs.
We hope women specific harm reduction services as endorsed by the United Nations system, can urgently be resourced in Portugal.
Sexual and reproductive health services and violence prevention and survivor services need to be integrated with all harm reduction programmes.
Violence reporting mechanisms must be made safe, effective, respectful and easily accessed by women who use drugs.
We urge that the child custody rights of women who use drugs be respected and upheld with understanding that drug use does not cause or equate with bad parenting.
Thank you for your attention.