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Ilac 2020 presentation 17 sep 7am - sabrina mahtani

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Gender Discrimination

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Ilac 2020 presentation 17 sep 7am - sabrina mahtani

  1. 1. Gender Discrimination Causes and Consequences of Women's Imprisonment in Sierra Leone Sabrina Mahtani Co-Founder, AdvocAid Research Findings by Isabella Cordua (AdvocAid/ Vance Center)
  2. 2. PATHWAYS TO PRISON: POVERTY AND DISCRIMINATORY LAWS • 34% of women had been arrested and detained for survival economic or petty crime • 19% of women either charged or convicted of larceny, robbery or burglary • Link between crime and the pressures of providing for families • Petty offences are still criminalized • Formerly incarcerated women said domestic loitering laws used to criminalize women suspected of engaging in sex work
  3. 3. PATHWAYS TO PRISON: GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE
  4. 4. • Low mental health awareness • Unmet needs and prison conditions can trigger/exacerbate mental health illness MENTAL HEALTH AS CAUSE AND CONSEQUENCE OF WOMEN'S IMPRISONMENT
  5. 5. CONSEQUENCES OF DETENTION ON A WOMAN’S FAMILY TIES • Many women in prison worry about the stigma post-release • Families of detained women also said they face stigma • The children often bear the brunt; some may leave school • Many women reported losing touch with family and children • Some said their partners abandoned their children and remarried • Sometimes families and partners had also sold the women’s property
  6. 6. Key recommendations: • Develop gender-specific alternatives to incarceration and community- based non-custodial measures to reduce consequences of detention • Decriminalize discriminatory laws • Abolish mandatory sentencing and develop sentencing guidelines which fully consider mitigating factors in sentencing • Invest in legal empowerment services such as paralegals and gender- responsive training • Provide women in prison with gender-specific health services • Increase efforts in post-release support • Conduct further research on the different and disproportionate impacts of criminal justice system on women
  7. 7. To Access the Tool Kit: https://www.unodc.org/docume nts/justice-and-prison- reform/20- 01528_Gender_Toolkit_complete .pdf To be used in combination with existing UNODC e-Learning module on alternatives to imprisonment for women https://www.unodc.org/elearnin g/en/courses/course- catalogue.html#gender
  8. 8. THANK YOU! Photo credits: Shantelle Spencer/AdvocAid. All photos were taken in the Freetown Female Correctional Centre in 2018. Infographics: Anna Laura Magyarlaki Research Findings: Isabella Cordua (AdvocAid/ Vance Center)

Gender Discrimination

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