Mainstreaming a Gender Perspective in Addiction Services

Dianova and WFAD organized an interactive Round Table to reflect on how to mainstream a gender perspective in addiction treatment services

gender-related barriers

Responses from those attending the June 16 session to the question “What do you consider to be the main gender barrier to accessing and staying in addiction services?”

By Lucía Goberna – No one questions the need to implement gender perspectives into addiction programs. The question is how to do so in a comprehensive and holistic way, implementing effective and sustained practices over time.

Dianova together with the World Federation against Drugs (WFAD) organized a virtual round table on June 16, 2021 where they brought together professionals from several fields such as prevention, treatment, programs and services, harm reduction and social and labour reintegration from different parts of the world to share their experiences, knowledge and practical recommendations when implementing the gender perspective in programs and services.

WFAD and Dianova collaboration

WFAD and Dianova have been collaborating for years in regards to addiction and gender. Last April, they jointly published the infographic  “The Way Forward: Development of addiction treatment programs with gender perspectives to eliminate barriers for women” that states the six main gender barriers to explain in a pedagogical and clear way which the main barriers are when it comes to accessing and staying in treatment and making concrete proposals to overcome them. The infographic was presented at a side event during the 64th session of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

“Developing Addiction Programs with a Gender Perspective”

Given the success and high level of participation in this last event, the two organizations decided to assemble a meeting that went beyond the scope of treatment with representatives from different parts of the world and make it as interactive as possible. The meeting took place virtually on June 16 13:30 – 15:30 CEST and featured professional Spanish/ English interpretation.

70 people from countries such as Spain, the US, Uruguay, Nigeria, Sweden, Turkey, Nepal, South Africa, Ireland, Malta, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Portugal participated. Attendees were mainly from the fields of prevention and treatment with significant participation from the field of harm reduction and reintegration.

The speakers

  • Diana Joseph, Manager of the Fourth Wave Foundation, India, working in the field of prevention,
  • Jorgelina Di Iorio, Coordinator of the intervention area Exchanges Association, Argentina, working in the field of harm reduction,
  • Edward Carlson, CEO of Odyssey House Louisina, USA, an organization working in the field of treatment,
  • Jayne Mwangi, Founder of the Willing Way Wellness Center, Kenia, which specializes in treatment and rehabilitation services.

Download résumé of speakers

Round Table – Developing Gender-Sensitive Addiction Programmes 

Read the full account of the round table in the ‘Publications’ section