The Impact of Global Drug Policy on Women: Shifting the Needle

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 3, 2021. 11:00 A.M. EST

The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), the Center for the Study of Justice, Law and Society (Dejusticia), and the University of Manchester cordially invite you to the first of two events on: 

The Impact of Global Drug Policy on Women: Shifting the Needle

A new publication, The Impact of Global Drug Policy on Women: Shifting the Needle, analyzes the disproportionate impact of failed international drug control policies on women. Approaching these issues through a feminist lens that is often absent in the conventional literature, this new volume addresses the lack of attention to the experiences of women, detailing the challenges women face in accessing appropriate treatment and services, the stigmatization and marginalization resulting from engagement in illegal drug markets, and the punitive sentences imposed on women for drug-related offenses. Co-editors Julia Buxton, Giavana Margo, and Lona Burger have brought together a unique group of authors that includes academics, activists and those with lived experiences.

Join WOLA, IDPC, Dejusticia, and the University of Manchester on Wednesday, March 3, 11 a.m. EST for a virtual presentation of The Impact of Global Drug Policy on Women: Shifting the Needle. The panelists will give a brief overview of the broad scope of issues that place women and other groups in situations of vulnerability as a result of this flawed policy approach, and how to engage those most directly impacted as key stakeholders in the push for reform.

Event Details:

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

11:00 a.m. — 12:30 p.m. EST


Julia Buxton

Professor, University of Manchester

Fiona Macaulay

Associate Professor, University of Bradford

Ailish Brennan

Executive Director, Youth RISE 

Imani Robinson

Communications Strategist, Release



Marie Nougier

Head of Research and Communications, IDPC



Coletta Youngers

Senior Fellow, WOLA

Senior Associate, IDPC


The ebook edition of this title is Open Access and freely available here. The printed version is available for purchase here.

Julia Buxton is a British Academy Global Professor in Criminology at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom. She is co-editor (with L. Burger and G. Margo) and contributor to The Impact of Global Drug Policy on Women: Shifting the Needle (Emerald 2020) and (with K. Tinasti and M. Chinery Hesse) Drug Policies and Development: Conflict and Co-Existence (Brill 2020). She is a specialist on conflict, development and policy processes. Her current research focuses on supply actors in illicit (drug) economies and the impacts of Brexit on British drug markets.

Fiona Macaulay is Associate Professor in the Division of Peace Studies and International Development at the University of Bradford. Her research interests, on which she has published extensively, focus on criminal justice system reform, human rights policy, and gender, politics and security issues in Latin America, especially Brazil. She has just completed a book on femicide in Brazil, Transforming State Responses to Feminicide: Women’s movements, law and criminal justice institutions in Brazil, forthcoming with Emerald Press. She is also the editor of Stability: International Journal of Security and Development.

Ailish Brennan is a youth activist and is the current executive director of Youth RISE, taking up the position at the start of 2020 having previously served as Youth RISE’s Communications Officer. She has a bachelor’s degree in politics, international relations and economics at University College Dublin. Ailish has been involved in harm reduction and drug policy advocacy since 2017, and in that time has also taken a particular interest in campaigning against homelessness, as well issues facing the LGBTQ+ community, in particular how these both intersect with drug use and her work related to drug policy with Youth RISE.

Imani Robinson is an interdisciplinary writer and artist committed to political education and abolitionist organizing. whose goal is to make prison abolition and transformative justice more possible in our lifetime. They are the editor of, a multilingual platform for news and analysis on drug use, policy, harm reduction and related issues across the world. Imani was a plenary speaker at HR19 in Porto, Portugal and in 2018 co-produced REGENERATE, a black-led arts festival on the intersections of drug policy, racial justice and liberation alongside Camille Barton. Imani holds an M.A. in forensic architecture from Goldsmiths, University of London and a B.A. in international relations and anthropology from the University of Sussex.

Marie Nougier has been responsible for the communications and publications work stream of IDPC since 2008, and also engages in networking, civil society capacity building activities, and policy advocacy engagement, in particular at the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND). Marie also supports IDPC’s activities in Latin America, where she helps coordinate a project to reduce the incarceration rate of women for drug offenses, and is also a member of the Core Group of the European Union Civil Society Forum on Drugs.

Coletta Youngers is a Senior Fellow with the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and Senior Associate with the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC). She is a leading expert on issues related to women and incarceration in the Americas. She has over thirty years of experience working on human rights and drug policy in Latin America and on U.S.-Latin America relations. She directs WOLA’s work on women and incarceration, is co-coordinator of a working group on women, drug policy and incarceration in Latin America, and also participates on behalf of WOLA in the Research Consortium on Drugs and the Law (CEDD).

The second webinar presenting The Impact of Global Drug Policy on Women: Shifting the Needle will be held in Spanish on Wednesday, March 10 at 11:00 a.m. EST.