Final Workshop of the Project DAWN – Drugs, Alcohol and Women Network

Final Workshop of the Project DAWN – Drugs, Alcohol and Women Network

Supporting Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 5: Good health and well-being for all and gender equality, the Final Workshop of the Project DAWN – Drugs, Alcohol and Women Network was held on 5 July in Rome

Since 2010, the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), in cooperation with the Department for Anti-Drug Policy of the Presidency of the Council of Ministries,Government of Italy, has carried out the Project DAWN (Drugs and Alcohol Women Network), aimed at including a gender responsive approach to the prevention, treatment and recovery of substance use and related problems. EURAD Board Member Monica Barzanti, representing our affiliate San Patrignano, was member of this network since 2010 and participated to the final workshop, bringing its 38 years’ contribution in this area.

Since the very beginning, San Patrignano welcomed women,mother with children and vulnerable groups at large: since 1978, around 3350 women, 1100 of them were mothers, 12% of them minors till 18. In the same period, San Patrignano welcomed around 500 minors (200 of them are girls).

The program’s main objective was to build capacity of professionals and policy makers to mainstream gender within the policies and the working practices, to promote the adoption of good practices to better meet the specific needs of women and vulnerable groups in general.

The project has facilitated the development of instruments and tools, such as guidelines and good practice manuals, as well as distance learning modules and awareness raising and capacity building activities, aimed at facilitating the exchange of information and at promoting the dissemination of good practices. In addition, a professional network of experts from several countries and comprising other UN and international agencies has been established to advocate for better access to health and social services for women and girls, particularly in countries of the Mediterranean Basin.

UNICRI also promoted two surveys to analyze the perception among female patients and health professionals on the added value that the adoption of a gender responsive approach can bring to prevention, treatment and recovery services, as well as to the treatment effectiveness and outcomes and in strengthening service delivery.

As the project has come to an end, UNICRI wishes to provide an opportunity for dissemination of the project’s results and to further discussion among the countries involved in the program, to lay the foundation for future initiatives, in the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Goals 3 and 5. (Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages; and its target 3.5: Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol; Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls).

Workshop Objectives

1. Report on the results of the project DAWN to raise awareness on the added value of the adoption of gender responsive approaches for increasing access to health and social reintegration from substance use, violence and related issues;

2. Reflect on how science and policy can better communicate to enhance access to health and social services for vulnerable groups and thus enhance social justice and protection of human rights;

3. Map and promote existing local experiences, while strengthening the links and improving synergies and collaboration between specialized services for violence and drug use and other services dedicated specifically to women.

4. Highlight the need for a more thorough and in-depth data collection and mapping of the phenomena, as a basis for more effective and efficient policies and practices;

5. Generate ideas on projects to be undertaken, individually or in synergy, through the euro-Mediterranean cooperation, the sharing of good practices, knowledge and tools, and training and exchange of experts.



By Mulka Nisic