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Fighting for Dignity: The Struggle for Women's Rights in Prison

March 07, 2023

The inhumane conditions that incarcerated women are forced to endure are an outrage, and it's a travesty that they have been ignored for so long. From lack of access to feminine hygiene products to forced separation from their children, these women are subject to inhumane treatment that leaves them with physical and emotional scars. On this International Women's Day, we must stand up and demand change. We cannot let the rights of incarcerated women continue to be trampled upon. The time for justice and equality for all women, including those who are incarcerated, is long overdue.

The History of Women’s Incarceration

The number of women in prison has grown by 700% over the past 30 years, a trend that is in stark contrast to the declining number of incarcerated men. Women’s incarceration has been driven by factors such as the War on Drugs, harsher sentencing laws, and the criminalization of poverty. As a result, women in prison are often survivors of trauma, abuse, and poverty.

Unique Challenges for Incarcerated Women

Incarcerated women face a range of unique challenges that are often overlooked. Women are more likely than men to have experienced trauma, abuse, and poverty prior to their incarceration. They are also more likely to have children and to be the primary caregivers for those children. This means that when women are incarcerated, their families and communities are also impacted.

In addition, women in prison face a range of gender-specific challenges, such as limited access to feminine hygiene products, forced inductions, and being placed in solitary confinement during pregnancy. These conditions are not only inhumane but also have a profound impact on the physical and mental health of incarcerated women.

The Fight for Dignity for Incarcerated Women

Dream.Org’s Dignity for Incarcerated Women Campaign, led by formerly incarcerated women, has been working to address these challenges and ensure that incarcerated women are treated with dignity and respect. For the past three years, the campaign has successfully changed policies in 15 states and positively impacted living conditions for over 30,000 incarcerated women.

The campaign seeks to address the unique challenges faced by incarcerated women and ensure that they have access to the resources and support they need to successfully re-enter their communities. Dream.Org is currently working in three additional states to pass Dignity for Incarcerated Women legislation.

Take Action

On International Women’s Day, we must remember the courage and resilience of women throughout history who have fought for their rights and dignity. But we must also recognize that the struggle continues, and we must remain committed to justice and equality for all women.

Join us in the fight for justice and dignity for incarcerated women by signing our petition today. By signing, you'll be adding your voice to the growing chorus of individuals who are demanding change for these marginalized and vulnerable members of our society. Let's send a clear message to our elected officials that the inhumane treatment of incarcerated women is unacceptable, and that it's time for real change. 

The fight for women’s rights in prison is an urgent issue that cannot be ignored. Incarcerated women face a range of challenges that are often overlooked, and it is crucial that we recognize the need for change and commit to fighting for the rights of all women, including those who are incarcerated. On International Women’s Day, let us honor the courage and resilience of women who have fought for their rights throughout history and continue to fight for justice and equality for all women. Together, we can create a more just and equitable society for all.

The future starts with a dream.
The future starts with us.
Black woman standing in front of protestors.