Gender Discrimination in Female Prisons

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In general, there exists a large gender disparity in prison especially regarding prison experiences as well as access to services. These activities happen to show a negative discrimination towards jailed females, with most female prisons still operating under the guise that women should assume their appropriate role as homemakers. As a result, female prisons have programs and activities that further propagate this stereotype. The conditions of female prisons are far worse when compared to those of their male counterparts. For instance, incarcerated women report deplorable health care provision from dentists who act unprofessionally by only providing a teeth removal service without taking care of other dental needs (Belknap, 2014). Sometimes, the prison guards ignore the health conditions of affected inmates even when they are afflicted with serious health problems. Usually, by that time, a response occurs when it is already too late and the inmate is on the brink of death.

For female prisoners, training programs have a significantly lower quality especially because of the unfounded notion that women are not smart enough. The quantity and variety of material on offer for female offenders within prisons is different in nature in comparison to the training activities available in male prisons (Belknap, 2014). Lawsuits filed in today’s courts point towards a large disparity in terms of cell size as well as access to recreational facilities. Male prisoners can access card games, Ping-Pong, and darts while these activities remain non-existent within female prisons (Belknap, 2014). In historical terms, this discrimination becomes justified by the fact that women are not major breadwinners within their families. For this reason, they are unable to access towards work release and educational opportunities and there is ongoing research to establish whether there is equality in terms of access to religious and spiritual opportunities.


Belknap, J. (2014). The Invisible Woman: Gender, Crime, and Justice. Nelson Education.

November 24, 2023

Human Rights Identity

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Discrimination Gender

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