Women are disproportionately affected by the illicit use, illicit production and trafficking of drugs. In general, women are discovered later into addiction than men and face greater (even double) stigmatisation. Gender sensitive approaches to prevention, care, treatment and recovery services are of importance to meet the needs of women.

There are few organisations on the global level that specifically addresses the situation of women facing addition. It is against this background that The World Federation Against Drugs is developing a Gender working group initiative that specifically addresses the illicit drug use/addiction among women, gender based violence and its correlation with illicit drug use and access to health care, treatment and recovery services for women. Whilst advocating for women’s rights and contributing to the global drug policy debate.

The WFADGWG adheres to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Istanbul Convention. The WFADGWG will actively advocate for the mainstreaming and implementation of these conventions.

 GWG Concept Note

GWG Concept Note

Thematic Areas

Advocacy – Participation in Global Platforms to highlight the rights of women in treatment and advocate for the removal of barriers totreatment, stigmatisation and ensure the inclusion of basic rights of women are included in Policy reform at the highest levels in each country.

Background and Prevention – Initiating activities that promotes early intervention and prevention of substance abuse among women.

Treatment and Recovery – Increasing activities around the treatment, recovery and reintegration of women in addiction and those in recovery into the society.

Gender-based violence – Creating the platform for empowering women in abusive relationship and victims of assaults who are prone to illicit use of drugs and substances

Economic and emotional empowerment – Promoting and sponsoring initiatives that bridges the income inequality gap.


The Gender Working Group will provide a webinar-series on the thematic topics of the group.

More information coming soon!

Get involved


Representatives include:



Women's Organisations Committee on Alcohol and Drug Issues, Sweden