Coinciding with the United Nations international day to eliminate violence against women, and the subsequent 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign (25 November to 10 December), women who use drugs and their allies around the world unleashed a diverse and dynamic series of actions under the uniting themes:

  • The war on drugs enables violence against women
  • End the war, end the violence; and,
  • Drug use is NOT an excuse for violence and abuse.

also utilising orange (reflecting international ‘orange the world’ theme colour for eliminating violence against women. Women who use drugs are exposed to higher rates of violence than other women).

This violence includes, (but is not limited to) rape, sexual harassment, extortion, loss of child custody, imprisonment for mere personal possession, extra judicial killing, capital punishment and penalisation for drug use in pregnancy. Prohibition either directly causes or greatly exacerbates conditions for all of these violations. Gender-based violence cannot be eliminated if those most affected are not directly and meaningfully involved at all levels in relevant policy and programming.

Women who use drugs are boldly stepping out to take their place in the women’s movement and efforts to stop Gender-based violence. Collectively we and our allies call for governments to end the gendered, failed and murderous policy of drug prohibition.

The following summary features actions performed in Indonesia, Burundi, Australia, Ukraine, Nigeria, Greece, Mexico, Spain, USA, Mauritius, Nepal, Lithuania and Seychelles.