Globally more than half a million women and girls are in prison serving a sentence following conviction, or awaiting trial and therefore to be presumed innocent. Criminal justice systems routinely overlook the specific needs of these women and girls, who represent an estimated two to nine per cent of national prison populations. The UN Bangkok Rules seek to address these needs.
Treating women offenders in the same way as men will not achieve gender equality. The circumstances in which women commit criminal offences are different from men.