Addressing gender-specific needs in drug service settings: an analysis of gender-responsive design in action

Women are disproportionately affected by a variety of drug use-related harms and remain under-represented in addiction treatment and drug support services. In response to these challenges, state of the art research and policy debates have emphasized the urgent need to incorporate gender-specific needs into the design and delivery of drug services. Building on this imperative, the DAAD project seeks to shed much needed light on the factors influencing the development and implementation of ‘gender-responsive’ drug services. To this end, Dr Aysel Sultan from the STS department at TUM will spend 1 month at the Eastern Health Clinical School of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia which will be followed by an exchange visit from Dr Tristan Duncan to the STS department. The fellows will collaboratively design and undertake a qualitative study on how drug services incorporate gender and gender-responsiveness into service delivery. This exchange is funded by the German Academic Exchange Program (DAAD) and Veski in Victoria.

The case study of the project is a German drug consumption room ragazza e.V. located in the city of Hamburg. As one of two ‘women-only’ drug consumption rooms services globally (second one being in Vancouver), the site provides a unique and heretofore unexamined example of gender-responsive policy in practice. The case study will be complemented with visits to drug consumption rooms in Berlin and Melbourne, conversations with local experts in each country and examination of local policy briefs.

This project will contribute new knowledge on the development and implementation of gender-responsive drug services, including insights into the processes, challenges, and dynamics that shape program operations and sustainability. As policy makers continue to grapple with gendered inequalities in drug service access, this knowledge can play a critical role in supporting informed drug policy decision-making and practice in Australia and abroad. The project will also act as a pilot study that will form the basis of a grant application involving a comparative analysis of German and Australian drug consumption room stakeholders’ understandings of gender-responsive design


Aysel Sultan, Tristan Duncan
Tel.: +49 (0)89 289 29 205
Augustenstr. 46, 80333 Munich
Raum: 352

Aysel Sultan, Tristan Duncan

Aug-Oct 2023


DAAD, Veski and Monash University