By Dania Putri, of The Transnational Institute.
In Myanmar’s Kachin State, a women’s drop-in centre has transformed into more than just a harm reduction facility. Leading up to International Women’s Day, we spoke with Thinzar Tun (AHRN Myanmar) about what makes this centre special.
For decades, the war on drugs has negatively impacted millions of lives. It has led to damaging forms of marginalisation, alarming rates of incarceration, and a wide array of ‘unintended consequences’ of drug control policies, from corruption and injustice to violence in illicit markets. In most parts of the world, for reasons related to broader gender inequality, women are disproportionately affected by these policy impacts at varying levels. It is only recently that this issue has begun to receive particular attention within the world of drug policy activism.
The more we dig in, the more we learn about - and are sometimes enraged by – the various harsh repercussions of drug control policies on the lives of both men and women worldwide. Nevertheless, as thousands have been empowered by the blossoming of the #MeToo movement, it is important to acknowledge that change is possible, and that concrete efforts can lead to progress that is worth celebrating.