Exporting Gender Injustice: The Impact of the U.S. War on Drugs on Ecuadorian Women


Norton-Hawk, Maureen. 2010. "Exporting Gender Injustice: The Impact of the U.S. War on Drugs on Ecuadorian Women." Critical Criminology 18 (2): 133.

Author: Maureen Norton-Hawk


Numerous researchers have documented the gendered impact of the United States’ domestic war against drugs. Women incarcerated for non-violent drug offenses are the fastest growing segment of America’s prison population because of the harsh penalties for using, selling and transporting illegal substances. The impact of U.S. drug policy on women in other countries, in contrast, has been overlooked. This paper argues that the greatly increased imprisonment of women in Ecuador for drug-related offenses is collateral damage of the U.S. war on drugs. The impact of the expansion of women’s imprisonment in Ecuador appears to be particularly damaging to the inmate’s children who frequently join their mother in prison. U.S. policy should not be exported to other countries before having a clear picture of the unintended negative consequences.

Keywords: globalization, war on drugs, collateral damage, criminal justice

Topics: Gender, Women, Justice, Rights, Women's Rights, Trafficking, Drug Trafficking Regions: Americas, North America, South America Countries: Ecuador, United States of America

Year: 2010

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