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Mainstreaming gender and promoting vulnerable groups’ access to health and social services

Conclusion of workshop on DAWN

Rome -

Mainstreaming gender and promoting vulnerable groups’ access to health and social services

Conclusion of workshop on DAWN

The final workshop of Project DAWN (Drugs, Alcohol and Women Network) organized by the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), in cooperation with the Department of Anti-drug Policies of the Government of Italy) on 5th July, saw the participation of delegates from the partner countries, Italian governmental institutions and experts from the academia and the civil society organizations.

The workshop resulted in a fruitful discussion on gender disparities in the access to health and social services, substance use and violence prevention with a specific focus on the Mediterranean and MENA countries. In her welcome remarks, the UNICRI Director, Cindy J. Smith, expressed the commitment of the Institute to continue to work on the issues of gender violence and substance use within the new Development Agenda 2030 Goals 3 and 5 and underlined the most significant results of the project, which, next to the concrete instruments and tools developed, can be summarized in having raised awareness on the importance of including a gender perspective in the prevention, treatment and recovery processes of substance use, to facilitate access to health and social services for vulnerable groups.

“This is UNICRI’s added value, which looks at the potential of including a social justice and human rights perspective in addressing vulnerabilities and disparities.” said the Director of UNICRI.

The Director of the Department for Drug Policy of Italy, Counselor Patrizia De Rose,
opened the Workshop by pointing out the importance that her Department attributes to the gender agenda and to the efforts of promoting, also through project DAWN, activities within the UN Resolution 55/5 "Promoting strategies and measures addressing the specific needs of women in the context of comprehensive integrated drug demand reduction programmes and strategies." This Resolution, unanimously approved by all the Member States of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs, led the way to a series of international initiatives.

Italy’s support to the different initiatives in this area aims to promote the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda 2030.

During the workshop experts stressed the importance of applying the tools and instruments developed in the programme and to look at gender issues by taking into consideration the biological factors as well as the cultural differences to tailor the most appropriate responses.

The evaluation of the quality of the services and the expectations by women who are clients of drug dependence prevention units in Italy, as well as the perception of professionals about the importance of mainstreaming gender in their work, are among the subjects of the studies carried out by UNICRI.

The event promoted the dialogue between national and international institutions and the exchange of expertise and synergies between governmental institutions and the scientific community.