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In recent years, the number of women in prison has increased throughout the world, including in Argentina. In Argentina’s federal prisons, the population of female prisoners has expanded nearly 200% in the past two decades, a much higher rate than the increase in the number of incarcerated men. It is important to understand why these numbers have increased so significantly and to recognize the gender-specific needs and challenges of women prisoners.

This report offers a valuable contribution towards our understanding of the causes, conditions, and consequences of women’s imprisonment in Argentina. It is based on extensive research, including desk research, interviews of experts and women prisoners and a survey of nearly 30% of the women in federal prisons. It thoughtfully analyzes the issues from the lens of international and domestic laws. It highlights Argentina’s good practices in the area of women in prison and identifies improvements that are still needed.

This study reminds us – judges, lawyers, policy makers, and citizens – that we are all accountable for the human rights of women in prison. I am hopeful that its findings and recommendations will inform future efforts of actors within and outside Argentina to decrease the number of women in prison, improve the treatment of women prisoners, and address the effects of women’s imprisonment on their families and children.