Researchers to address drug use among women and girls worldwide at 9th annual InWomen’s conference

PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA— Women who use substances are often hidden and stigmatized globally. Leading researchers will meet to address these issues at the 9th International Women’s and Children’s Health and Gender Group Conference June 10 in Palm Springs, California.

The International Women’s and Children's Health and Gender Group is a multidisciplinary forum that examines the consequences of substance use and abuse through a culturally-relevant lens. Members work collaboratively to identify research opportunities that incorporate a sensitivity to family, culture, and equity within an international context.

The conference, co-sponsored by RTI International, highlights the interrelated issues of  victimization of women who use substances, such as the cycle of retraumatization, barriers to women seeking substance use treatment, and successful, culturally-sensitive interventions for young women’s substance use and related problems.

“We are so pleased again this year to have diverse speakers and attendees from over 19 countries to address these critical issues affecting women and adolescents,” said Wendee Wechsberg, Ph.D, conference chair, director of the RTI Global Gender Center, and director of RTI’s Substance Use, Gender, and Applied Research Program.  “We are particularly excited about having some of the next generation of investigators from numerous countries present their innovative research.”

RTI is highly committed to global gender issues, and has implemented and evaluated more than 500 projects with gender-specific activities in more than 75 countries throughout the world in the past five years.

In April 2016, RTI hosted the conference, Ending Gender Inequalities: Addressing the Nexus of HIV, Drug Use, and Violence with Evidence-Based Action. In addition, RTI proudly sponsors the RTI Global Gender Center, which brings together experts across multiple disciplines to improve knowledge, policies, and programs to reduce gender inequities and disparities worldwide.

Other conference cosponsors and supporters include UA-SIROW, a regional research institute serving institutions of higher education and communities in southwestern United States with a focus gender, health disparities, legal issues, and innovations in education, the National Institutes of Health, and the College on Problems of Drug Dependence.

The conference will highlight the global nature of substance use, and stigma facing women, including talks about women in Afghanistan, Mexico, South Africa, Israel, the Philippines, and the Republic of Georgia.

The conference will also feature a poster session, testimonials, and a cultural event with live drumming and interactive pacific island dancing. 


  • 9th International Women’s and Children’s Health and Gender Group Conference to be held in Palm Springs, CA on June 10th at the La Quinta Resort and Spa
  • The conference highlights stigmatization and victimization of women, adolescent, and transgender individual substance users across the globe
  • The event is cosponsored by RTI International with support from the University of Arizona – Southwest Institute for Research on Women, the National Institutes of Health, and the College on Problems of Drug Dependence