Perhaps it is unsurprising that the most marginalised women experience the sharpest end of discrimination against women, but we at AKSI Keadilan and the Women and Harm Reduction International Network, the authors of the report, are surprised. We are surprised that more attention is not therefore paid to intersectionality including drug use status and associated structural drivers of gendered discrimination.
The report brings focus on institutionalized discrimination and violations of the rights of women who use drugs including GBV, access to health, parental custody rights, sexual and reproductive health rights and the violence of law enforcement – including disproportionate sentencing, extortion and incarceration.
Urgent steps must be taken to address the risks of violence faced by women who use drugs. Systemic barriers to human rights must be removed and access to essential health services and safety vastly improved.