Including a gender perspective in the prevention of torture

Friday, March 6, 2015

In a statement on International Women’s Day 2015, the APT stresses the need to incorporate a gender perspective in the prevention of torture and ill-treatment.

Women in detention are a particularly vulnerable group for multiple reasons. Discrimination against women at all levels of society is reflected and even exacerbated in prison settings. Prisons, a universe generally conceived by men for men, often do not take into account the specific needs of women, who represent a hardly visible minority of the global prison population (between 2% and 9% depending on estimates).

Policies regarding women in detention also tend to be developed by men and, as a result, insufficient consideration is given to the distinctive needs of women in their elaboration.

States therefore must take concrete measures to implement international standards, in particular the UN Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders (the Bangkok Rules). It is also important that detention monitoring bodies analyse the context and the particular needs of women, and include this analysis in their recommendations.

APT’s new Detention Focus Database includes specific information on the vulnerabilities of women in prison, as well as international standards and guidelines for monitoring bodies.

Read our statement on International Women’s Day 2015 (in Spanish)