• Send page
  • Print page

Women in detention

31-03-2010 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 877, by Julie Ashdown and Mel James


Prison systems are rarely gender sensitive, and are even less so in conflict situations. When women are detained, it is crucial that international standards, applied with sensitivity to women’s particular needs, are brought to bear. This article gives an overview of the relevant international law, as well as the gender-specific considerations that need to be taken into account when implementing it.  



Julie Ashdown is a freelance author and consultant. She was a British delegate to both the BeijingWomen’s Conference in 1995 and its follow-up in 2000. She is Chair of the rights and development organizationWomankind Worldwide.
Mel James has worked for Amnesty International (with which she attended the Beijing Conference), the Law Society of England and Wales, and Penal Reform International. She is now a freelance consultant.