Opening the (Gender) Blinds - Conference on Gender and Substance Use


28.02.2019 - 1.03.2019


Reykjavík, Iceland (view on map)


GEST in partnership with RIKK, the Root and Gender Equality Agency of Iceland hosted the two-day conference on Gender and Substance Use: Opening the (Gender) Blinds, Towards an Inclusive Gender-Based View of Trauma and Addiction in Reykjavík on 28 February – 1 March 2019.

Opening the (Gender) Blinds poster

Until recently, the role and centrality of gender in relation to addiction has been largely under-theorised and overlooked, especially in dominant biomedical and criminal justice models. There is, however, growing recognition of the need to increase awareness and expand the knowledge base of gender issues in studies of addiction, trauma, and treatment. The 2016 UNODC World Drug Report, focused especially on women, recognizing that drug policies disproportionately affect women, and that structural violence against women further marginalizes, victimizes, and disempowers women. It further states that structural changes are necessary in order to adequately support and offer treatment for women. There is a great emphasize, supported by recent research, that, in order to address global drug problems, efforts such as treatments, prevention and interventions need to be gender-sensitive.

The conference took place in Hotel Natura and was opened by the Icelandic Minister of Health, Svandís Svavarsdóttir. Keynote speakers were both international and Icelandic, including Nancy Poole, Director of Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health in BC, Canada and Elizabet Ettorre, Professor Emerita Professor of Sociology, at the University of Liverpool and an internationally recognized feminist scholar. Both have published extensive research within the field of gender and substance use.

For further information, visit the conference website.