The 8th of March marks International Women’s Day when global issues affecting women are raised, the work of women celebrated and the call for parity voiced. This year’s theme is Balance for Better.
A balanced world is a better world. How can you help forge a more gender-balanced world?
Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.
We know that issues around sexual health and drug use are important issues for women. In Scotland we have seen a rise in the number of women dying after taking drugs and the rise has been at a greater rate than amongst men. We also know that women will face greater stigma around their drug use and have unique barriers in accessing support. At Crew we welcome more women to our services than many other drug services will yet still would hope to see more women who feel able to get the support that they really need. For many women issues around reproductive health, parenting, sex work and intimate partner violence will connect with their drug use and in many cases will lead to greater inequality.
We are very pleased to see the launch of the Barcelona Declaration and proud to join as signatories, sending an important message about the impact of drug use, drug policy and the stigma associated with drug use on women. The Declaration was arrived at during a meeting of people who identify as women, from across Europe and Central Aisa, in Barcelona during February of 2019. The declaration notes that there are various inequalities faced by women globally connected rates of HIV and hepatitis transmission, punitive responses, and the stigma and discrimination faced by sex workers.
Global and systemic oppressions violate our rights, as womxn, trans and gender non-conforming people who use drugs, and situate us in multiple, interconnected, vulnerable positions, which lead to numerous harms
We also commit to ensuring we tailor our harm reduction work towards women, highlighting where possible, the increased risks of specific drugs for women, and ensure that all of our services are inclusive for all including transgender and non-binary people.
If you have questions around parenting, families and drug use we recommend getting in touch with our friends at Scottish Families Affected By Alcohol and Drugs.