8 March: Join EHRA

Dear amazing powerful womxn, lets make every day the 8th of March and fight together against sexism, stereotypes, discrimination and prejudice!

The 60-year strategy of the war on drugs has now become a policy that legalizes murder and other egregious violations of the rights of people who use drugs. For all of us, women and men, trans and gender non-conforming people, violence, humiliation and stigma bring pain and suffering that affect our self-esteem and the quality of our life.

This year EHRA together with like-minded women all over the world initiated a campaign and a movement – narcofeminism.  The vision of the movement is the world where every woman is free and able to choose her sexual orientation and gender identity, style and lifestyle; to decide whether to marry or not and when, to have or not to have children; to find personal fulfillment; to have control over her own body; to decide when and with whom to spend time, to have sex and when to say no; to use psychoactive substances, do not be pathologized. The world where a woman does not need to justify herself to anyone and do not to blame herself later.

They thought they had buried us. But they did not know that we are seeds.

On the Eve of the International Women’s Day 2019, EHRA, as well as dozens of international, regional and national organizations, declared that the War On Drugs is a war on Womxn Who Use Drugs! In February 2019 more than 40 womxn from Europe and Central Asia met in Barcelona to work together on intersectional feminism, drug policy, harm reduction and human rights, where the Barcelona Declaration was initiated. You can read more and sign the Declaration.

One more wonderful collective Women and Harm Reduction International Network presented an open statement in support of the rights and health of women, who use drugs.

For the last 2 years EHRA, together with Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and LUNEST have been defending the rights of women who use drugs in UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In 2017 we submitted shadow report and presented it at the 62  Pre-sessional CESCR working group meeting in April, 2018. The report was based on the study conducted in Estonia in 2017.

On February 18-20, 2019 representatives from EHRA, Lunest – Eesti psühhotroopsete ainete sõltlaste ühing and the University of Miami School of Law Human Rights Clinic  joined the 65th session of the Committee. NN**, a woman, who use drugs from LUNEST, Estonia, made a statement, in which she focused on the problems of stigma imposed by medical staff in OST centres and police, negligent attitude to personal data and violation of parental rights due to HIV and/or drug dependence status.

In 2018 several NGOs from Kazakhstan (Kazakhstan Union of People Living with HIV, Public Foundation for Women Living with HIV in Kazakhstan, Public Foundation «Answer», Public Association «My Home», Public Association “Amelia” and Public Charitable Foundation “Shapagat”) submitted shadow report on Discrimination and Violence against Women who use Drugs, Women Living with HIV, Sex Workers and women in prison in Kazakhstan to the UN Committee on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women which they will present at 74 Pre-Sessional Working Group on 11 – 15 of March 2019. The report is based on studies and cases of violation of rights registered by the above-mentioned organizations in 2015-2017, and official sources of information. The report provides information on institutionalized discrimination against women who use drugs, women living with HIV, sex workers and women from places of detention, such as the criminalization of marginalized groups of women, violence and cruelty that they encounter in state institutions – law enforcement agencies and medical institutions, violation of parental and reproductive rights, disclosure of  HIV/drug dependence status, access of women who use drugs to opioid substitution therapy.

Today EHRA team went on the streets of Vilnius to join the march “We don’t want tulips, we want rights and solidarity!” organized by Lithuanian organization for reproductive rights “Reproductive strike”.

My body – my choice, my right, my voice!