International Womxn’s day - Womxn who use drugs
The Barcelona Declaration
On International Women's Day 2019, we declare that the War On Drugs is a war on Womxn Who Use Drugs
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The War On Drugs is racist, sexist, classist and heterosexist, and disproportionately affects womxn of colour, youth and womxn in poor communities.
As womxn, trans and gender non-conforming people surviving this war, we reject the widespread stigma, discrimination and criminalisation we face in our daily lives. We call for complete reform and transformation of the current system of prohibition. We call for an end to the ignorant and negative rhetoric.
Drug treatment services are gendered, classed, sexualised and racialised. Drug 'treatment' itself is based on spurious and outdated research, and allows unbridled and unregulated power over the individual. We reject these methods and the ideologies underpinning them.
Global and systemic oppressions violate our rights, as womxn, trans and gender non-conforming people who use drugs, and situate us in multiple, interconnected, vulnerable positions, which lead to numerous harms:
As womxn who inject drugs, we have a higher prevalence of HIV and Hepatitis than men. Despite this, we don't appear in data and endure discrimination and exclusion from social and health services. The few resources we have tend to be masculinised and inaccessible as well as often not meeting our needs, interests or expectations.
We are disproportionately impacted by structural violence and social control from the State (policing, limited access to legal aid, extortion, long prison sentences, rape, extrajudicial murder and capital punishment).
The majority of womxn in prison are sentenced for non-violent drug related offences. Womxn of colour, ethnic minorities, non-binary or trans, and the homeless are particularly targeted.
In several countries, we face detention in compulsory, unregulated 'treatment'' centres , often for indefinite periods with little or no access to judicial processes. Incarceration in closed settings creates a context for increased human rights violations, such as rape and extortion.
We often experience endemic violence and exclusion within our own communities and families. Not only are we more likely to be assaulted by our partners, but we are less likely to have recourse to justice and protection
We suffer intrusion into our bodily and physical integrity, maternal and family life and domestic space. We face routine violations of our sexual and reproductive health rights, by both community and state such as coerced sterilization and pregnancy termination.
Stigma that assumes womxn who use drugs cannot take care of their children and misinformation on the effects of drug use feeds into strong pressures to end pregnancy. When we don't terminate our pregnancies, there's a strong possibility we will lose custody of our children.
Those of us who are sex workers, womxn living with disabilities, and especially trans womxn, cope with an unacceptable and compounded web of stigma, discrimination and social exclusion.
Womxn Fighting back Against the War On Drugs
Despite living with these and other multiple forms of violence daily, Womxn Fighting back Against the War On Drugs are resourceful, enterprising, creative and strong. We possess remarkable resilience. We fight back against prohibition with solidarity, mutual support and leadership, building our networks from the grassroots to the global, from immediate action to long-term strategies to end this war on womxn who use drugs. We embrace intersectional and anti-prohibitionist feminism that integrates queer/trans-inclusive and non-ableist approaches, racial justice and the right to use drugs and experience pleasure. We work to reclaim our bodily sovereignty, including rights to the full range of sexual and reproductive health, gender-sensitive health services, and rights to use drugs. We do not ask for charity but for solidarity. We demand to live in safety and freedom.
This declaration is an invitation to join forces with womxn like us, womxn who demand an end to the War on Drugs and the negative impact it has on all our lives.
Our bodies - our choice, our rights, our voice.
Womxn Who Use Drugs
Please click here if you would like to sign the declaration and add your name and /or your organisation to this very imporatnt declaration and join the hundreds of others declaring WOMXN ARE FIGHTING BACK!
If your organisation or blog wishes to add the declaration - please find translated copies in 7 langauges here - plus the images. Please attach the SIGN UP LINK where possible. Thank you so much for supporting this important issue.
The seeds of The Barcelona Declaration were formed during a magical, creative and powerful 10 days of organising and grassroots activism by a range of incredibly hardworking women who’s own experiences of being women who use drugs, feminists and harm reduction activists, enabled all to create some powerful bonds of friendship and grassroots activism that are sure to take this issue right to where we need it to go -around the whole world -to governments and the people alike! Special thanks to those women and the organisations that helped them be there; Metzineres (Spain) AWID, EHRN, EuroNPUD, INWUD