6. Implementing a gender dimension in drug policy and practice: findings from the Pompidou Group handbook for practitioners and decision makers
Gender mainstreaming is a modern challenge within drug policies. From March 2020 to December 2021, Pompidou Group Permanent Correspondents entrusted experts from eleven countries to draw principles and practical examples that provide guidance for implementing a gender approach in drug prevention, treatment and care, and criminal justice. They drafted a handbook to practitioners and policy makers, published in 2022 Presenters will focus on recommendations related to drug demand reduction.
Based on a literature review of epidemiological and sociological knowledge about gender and drug intersectionality, five chapter leaders, with co-drafters along with reviewers discussed the gender dimension and discrepancies in drug issues and came to a consensus on cross-cultural recommendations to support gender mainstreaming in policy making, services and interventions. A trans inclusive approach was taken within the project.
Although gender gap is narrowing in drug use, especially among young people, women and trans people who use drugs are disproportionately affected by drug-related health issues. Gender-sensitive approaches are needed in prevention, harm reduction and treatment . Prevention approaches should work on gender norms and psychosociological factors. In the fields of treatment and harm reduction, there is a need to widely include trauma-informed approach and factors that promote access to treatment among women and trans people who use drugs.
There is an increasing interest and commitment to gender sensitive and gender transformative drug policy by policy makers and practitioners.