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Call for participation

CREA's Sexuality, Gender, and Rights Institute: Exploring Theory and Practice | 21-29 June, 2014 | Istanbul, Turkey


Applications are due on or before 15 April 2014. To apply online, click here. If you experience difficulty with the online method, download the application from CREA’s website ( and e-mail the completed form to Sushma Luthra at or to CREA at Send any queries to Ms Luthra as well.

CREA’s Sexuality, Gender, and Rights Institute is an annual residential course–begun in 2007–which focuses on a conceptual study of sexuality and its application to program interventions. The Institute examines the links between sexuality, rights, gender, and health, and their interface with socio-cultural and legal issues. Participants critically analyse policy, research, and programme interventions using a rights-based approach.

Course Content

Sexuality is a complex field of study, which spans multiple disciplines and areas of work. Accordingly, the course content of the Sexuality, Gender, and Rights Institute will focus on a conceptual and theoretical study of sexuality, drawing from different social science disciplines and the intersections between them. Activists and academics will teach the course using classroom instruction, group work, case studies, simulation exercises, fiction, and films.

  • Sexuality theory
  • Sexuality and human rights
  • Sexuality and gender
  • Sexuality and legal systems
  • Sexual and reproductive health and rights
  • Representation of sexuality
  • Sexuality, freedom of expression and censorship
  • Sexual diversities and rights
  • Sexuality and disability
  • Sexual rights advocacy
  • Case studies of programme interventions

CREA is a feminist human rights organisation, based in New Delhi, India. It is one of the few international women’s rights organisations based in the global South, led by Southern feminists, which works at the grassroots, national, regional, and international levels. CREA’s mission is to build feminist leadership, advance women’s human rights, and expand sexual and reproductive freedoms.


For the Institute, 25-30 participants will be selected, based on their application forms and their ability to demonstrate how they would apply the lessons of the Institute. Individuals working on issues of sexuality, LGBT rights, sexual rights, HIV/AIDS, violence against women, health, and/or gender are eligible to apply. Preference will be given to individuals working in the global South at the national/local level to advance sexual rights. Participants are required to stay for the duration of the course.

For application form, click here or go to

Venue and Dates

The Sexuality, Gender, and Rights Institute will be held in Istanbul, Turkey, during 21-29 June 2014. (Begins 9 am on 21st; Ends 4 pm on 29th).

Travel and Visa

Participants are responsible for incurring their travel costs to and from the Institute and obtaining their own visa. CREA will assist with the visa process by providing a letter of invitation and required visa letters.

Registration Costs 

Registration and Course fees are due on or before 26 May 2014.

Registration fee: USD 150. All selected applicants will have to pay this fee.

Course fee: USD 2800. This covers tuition, resource package, accommodation on a twin-sharing basis from 20-29 June 2014 (9 nights), and all breakfasts. Please note that this is a subsidised cost for participation. The expenses per participant total approximately USD 4500.

Not included in the course fees: Travel costs and lunches/dinners.


Accommodation will be on twin-sharing basis. Participants desiring single rooms will have to pay a supplement of USD 550.


A very small number of full and partial scholarships from CREA are available on a need basis. Please note that the scholarship process is competitive.

ONLY individuals who meet all the following criteria are eligible to apply for a scholarship.

  • Working for national/local organisation in the global South;
  • Working and residing in the global South; and
  • Working on sexual rights, LGBT, and sex workers’ rights issues directly

NOT ELIGIBLE: Students; individuals not affiliated with organisations; and individuals working with international organisations.

Funding Opportunities

We encourage participants to approach donors to sponsor their participation. Possible sources for funding include the organisation you work for; your organisation’s donors (some funders will consider travel grants to current grantees); and the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF), the Ford Foundation, the Global Fund for Women, the International Women’s Health Coalition, Mama Cash, and Open Society Foundations. We suggest that you begin researching options immediately upon submitting your application to us.

Participating Faculty

Alice Miller, JD, is a scholar and advocate on the faculty of Yale University’s School of Public Health and Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, and a spring Adjunct at Yale Law School. She co-directs the Global Health Justice Partnership, a joint initiative of the Law and Public Health Schools. Previously, Miller taught at the UC Berkeley Law School as well as Columbia University, where she co-directed the Center (now Institute) for the Study of Human Rights and Master’s Program in Human Rights jointly appointed to the Public Health and International and Public Affairs Schools. She teaches and writes in the areas of sexuality, rights, law, gender, health, and humanitarian issues. She combines extensive US and international advocacy experience with her academic work, specialising in developing a framework for human rights claims in the context of contemporary critical understandings of sexuality, law, and globalised advocacy networks.

Carole S Vance, PhD, MPH, teaches anthropology, public health and sexuality at the Mailman School of Public Health, and for 10 years, has directed the Program for the Study of Sexuality, Gender, Health and Human Rights at the Columbia University. She has extensively written about sexual theory; science, sexuality, gender, and health; and policy controversies about sexual expression and imagery. She is the editor of Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality (1982, 1993). In 2005, she received the David R Kessler Award for lifetime contribution to the study of sexuality.

Geetanjali Misra is co-founder and Executive Director of CREA. She has worked at the activist, grant making and policy levels on issues of sexuality, reproductive health, gender, human rights and violence against women. She writes on issues of sexuality, gender and rights and co-edited Sexuality, Gender and Rights: Exploring Theory and Practice in South and Southeast Asia (2005). Before joining CREA, she was the Sexuality and Reproductive Health Program Officer at the Ford Foundation. In 1989, she co-founded SAKHI for South Asian Women, a non-profit organisation based in New York, committed to ending violence against women of South Asian origin.

Huang Yingying is Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, and Deputy Director, Institute of Sexuality and Gender, at Renmin University in China. She bases her research in China and focuses on female sex workers, male clients, women’s body and sexuality, social aspects of HIV/AIDS, and research methodology on sexuality. She is the author of the book Body, Sexuality and Xinggan (sexiness): Study on Chinese Women’s Daily Lives (2008)and several publications on female sex workers and male clients in China since 1999. Dr Huang has also worked as gender consultant for several international HIV/AIDS projects since 2003, and is one of the key sponsors of the biannual international conference on Sexualities in China, which started in 2007.

Janet Price is an activist and academic, who works at the intersection of disability, sexuality, and gender. Based in Liverpool, UK, she has been involved with CREA for over a decade, raising the profile of sexuality issues for disabled people. In partnership with disabled and non-disabled colleagues from Nigeria, India, Kenya, and Australia, amongst others, she co-convenes the Disability, Sexuality, and Rights Online Institute, the 3rd of which ran in late 2013. She maintains her academic links through her involvement with the Gender and Health Group at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. She is also on the Board of Disability and Deaf Arts (DaDa), Liverpool, which holds a biennial International Festival, DaDaFest. The next DaDaFest will be in late 2014-15, with parallel festivals in Malawi, India and DR Congo, amongst others. The focus will be on the Right to Culture for disabled and deaf people.

Hossam Bahgat is a journalist and human rights defender based in Cairo. He is the founder and, for eleven years was the executive director, of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), a Cairo-based independent organisation defending human rights in Egypt. Since 2002, the EIPR has used research, advocacy and litigation to defend civil liberties and political rights and promote economic and social justice and reform of the criminal justice system. With training in political science and international human rights law, Bahgat is also Board Chair of the International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net), and a member of the Board of Directors of the Fund for Global Human Rights. In 2010, Bahgat received Human Rights Watch’s Allison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism.

Meena Saraswathi Seshu is the General Secretary of SANGRAM, an organisation that works on the rights of sex workers and people living with HIV/AIDS. SANGRAM’s Centre for Advocacy on Stigma and Marginalisation (CASAM) advocates for the reduction of stigma, violence, and harassment of marginalised communities, especially those who have challenged dominant norms. Seshu is part of the UNAIDS Reference Group on Human Rights and HIV. In 2002, she was awarded the Human Rights Defender Award by the Human Rights Watch. Seshu was a speaker at the 2010 International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria, and at the 2012 Sex Worker Freedom Festival in Kolkata, India.

Oliver Phillips is currently a Reader in Law at the University of Westminster in London, England, as well as a Visiting Professor at the Southern and Eastern African Regional Centre for Women’s Law (SEARCWL) at the University of Zimbabwe. He has a Ph.D. in Criminology from the University of Cambridge, and has written extensively on sexuality, human rights and the law in Zimbabwe and South Africa. Oliver was one of the founders of GALZ (Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe) and of the UK charity FOTAC (Friends of the Treatment Action Campaign); from 2002-2009 he was Deputy Chair of the Britain-Zimbabwe Society (BZS). At present, he serves as an expert witness in relation to applications for asylum made by Zimbabweans in the UK; he is also on the board of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), and the advisory board of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO).

Sealing Cheng, DPhil, is Associate Professor in Anthropology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She received her doctorate from the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Oxford University. She was then a Rockefeller postdoctoral fellow in Gender, Sexuality, Health, and Human Rights at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. Between 2005 and 2012, she taught in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, Wellesley College. Her research is focused on sexuality with reference to sex work, human trafficking, women’s activism, and policy-making. Her book, On the Move for Love: Migrant Entertainers and the U.S. Military in South Korea (University of Pennsylvania Press 2010) received the Distinguished Book Award of the Sexualities Section of the American Sociological Association in 2012.

Svati P Shah, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Shah’s work has been published in a range of scholarly and progressive journals, including Gender and History, Cultural Dynamics, Rethinking Marxism, and SAMAR: South Asian Magazine for Action and Reflection. Her book, Seeing Sexual Commerce: Sex, Work, and Migration in the City of Mumbai, on sex work and migration in Mumbai’s informal sector, is due to be released in 2014 by Duke University Press. She is currently working on the  politics of LGBTQ movements and economic class in India.

Special Lecture

Shohini Ghosh is Professor at the AJK Mass Communication Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia, (Central University) New Delhi, India. She is the director of Tales of the Nightfairies(2002) a film about the Sex Workers Rights Movement in Calcutta and the author Fire: A Queer Classic (2010) published by Arsenal Pulp Press, Canada and Orient Publishing in India. She is co-founder member of Mediastorm Collective, India’s first all women documentary production collective which received The Chameli Devi Jain Award for Outstanding Work among Women Media Professionals in 1992. Ghosh has been Visiting Professor in a number of universities within and outside India and has had a long association with the Sexuality, Gender, and Rights Institute. Ghosh writes on contemporary media, speech and censorship, popular cinema, documentary and issues of gender and sexuality. Her current work is titled Violence and the Spectral Muslim: Action, Affect and Bombay Cinema at the Turn of the 20th Century.

Applications are due on or before 15 April 2014. Applications received after this date will not be considered. Applicants will be informed about the selection decisions by 30 April 2014.

Contact Person: Sushma Luthra; Email: or

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