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By Women, For Women: New Approaches to Harm Reduction in Russia
Date:August 2011
In Russia, as in many countries, women who use drugs face profound structural and individual challenges to accessing essential health care. According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Russia is home to 1.6 million injecting drug users, and women are believed to make up as many as 40 percent. Yet local harm reduction groups report as few as one in six of their clients is female.
This new fact sheet documents how five harm reduction projects in cities and towns throughout Russia have shown that targeted, gender-sensitive programming can promote higher participation amongst women drug users and ultimately enable safer behavior. Indeed, where such programs exist, the proportion of female-to-male clients soon draws even. Some of the gender-sensitive initiatives detailed include:
  • Women-only drop-in centers
  • Peer-based outreach efforts that promote confidentiality and personal safety
  • Referrals to trained, friendly physicians at local AIDS clinics and maternity centers
  • Housing support and legal services
A rapid expansion of gender-sensitive harm reduction programs and the number of participants they serve is essential for improved access of vulnerable women and their children to lifesaving services. By Women, For Women provides an important guide to the necessary elements to ensure this growth is effective in Russia and elsewhere.
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By Women, For Women (English)
PDF Document - 675K
Download the fact sheet in English.
Against Her Will: Forced and Coerced Sterilization of Women Worldwide
October 4, 2011
This Open Society Foundations fact sheet focuses on forced sterilization of racial and ethnic minorities, poor women, women living with HIV, and women with disabilities. It also provides recommendations to end this widespread human rights violation.
Campaign Aims to Give Roma Women an Equal Chance Against Cancer
Bernard Rorke
June 9, 2011
In Hungary, Roma women are three times more likely to die from cancer as their non-Roma counterparts. Yet 90 percent of these cases could be cured if detected in time and treated appropriately.
HIV Testing and Human Rights: Resources and Fact Sheets
January 2011
HIV testing is an important part of a comprehensive approach to HIV prevention and treatment, if it is provided in a way that respects basic human rights. However, there is growing evidence that in many countries women and marginalized groups are subjected to HIV testing practices that put them at risk of discrimination, and even violence.
Kenya's Invisible Women
Umra Omar
October 13, 2011
In the small town of Malindi, Kenya, women who use drugs will never receive the services they deserve until the community listens to their needs.
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