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Apply for CREA’s Feminist Leadership, Movement Building and Rights Institute South Asia


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.Applications are due on or before 28 October 2014.

The Feminist Leadership, Movement Building, and Rights Institute–South Asia is a week long residential training programme designed by CREA. Formerly known as the South Asia Movement Building and Human Rights Institute, this Institute is designed for women working in non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in South Asia in mid-level leadership positions. It aims to build the conceptual clarity of participants on gender, feminism, feminist leadership, and movement building, and their links to human rights in the South Asian context. It also aims to strengthen feminist leadership, strategies, and collective power of young women for their voices and demands to be heard-at the level of the community to the highest levels of decision-making.

Course Content

This Institute offers mid-level women leaders in NGOs an opportunity to enhance their conceptual understanding as well as build their skills to do effective activism and advocacy on human rights. The Institute will build:

  • Conceptual understanding of participants on gender, feminism, and movement building, and their links to human rights.
  • Strategic skills by looking at and analysing some social movements and successful advocacy campaigns in South Asia.
  • Conceptual understanding of participants on privacy and security issues that will enable them to strategically and safely use online and offline communication tools for movement building.

Using a movement-building lens, the Institute will allow participants to build their knowledge on the theoretical underpinnings of movement building, synthesised from analyses of global movements.  Additionally, participants will identify the different intersections, interactions, common spaces, and challenges that social movements encounter when collaborating on issues of women’s human rights. From this, they will critically assess the pre-existing resources of the women’s movement in the South Asia region. They will also identify and explore concrete strategies to strengthen links between movements to advance women’s human rights more collectively.

A team of feminist activists, who have done trailblazing work in the field of women’s human rights, teach at this Institute, using classroom instruction, group work, case studies, simulation exercises, and films. The resource persons include:

Core Faculty

Srilatha Batliwala is a lifelong feminist activist-scholar who is currently Scholar Associate with the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID). Her current work focuses on feminist movement building, documenting and analysing the impact of women’s rights struggles on the world, and training and mentoring young feminist activists and scholars around the world. Since the 1970s, Srilatha has worked for gender equality and women’s empowerment through grassroots activism, advocacy, teaching, research, training, grant-making, organisational development and popular education. Up to the mid-90s she focused on building movements of poor urban and rural women in India. She then moved on to work in several premier international institutions – including the Ford Foundation, New York, the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organisations at Harvard University, and since 2007, with AWID. She serves on the boards of several international and national organisations.  Srilatha has written extensively on women’s issues, and is well known for developing cutting-edge concepts and frameworks that bridge the worlds of theory and practice, and academia and activism. Her recently published book, Engaging with Empowerment – An Intellectual and Experiential Journey, is a compendium of some of her key writing of the past twenty years, and contains several of her benchmark articles and concept papers. Srilatha lives and works in Bangalore, India.

Participating Faculty

Bishakha Datta writes and films non-fiction, works on gender and sexuality, runs Point of View in Mumbai, is part of the wikipedia family and serves on several non-profit boards. She tweets @busydot and sometimes blogs at dizzybot. In all her avatars, Bishakha explores marginal, invisible, silenced points of view – or those considered illegitimate. She has edited two anthologies: And Who Will Make the Chapatis? (Stree, 1998) and Nine Degrees of Justice(Zubaan, 2010). Her filmography includes In The Flesh (2001), Taza Khabar (2005), Zinda Laash (2007) and Out of the Closet (2009). Her current interest lies in exploring how gender and sexuality intersect with digitality ( and with disability ( She is also writing #Selling Sex, a non-fiction book on the lives and realities of sex workers in India.
Firdous Azim is a Professor of English who is currently chair of the Department of English and Humanities at BRAC University and a member of a research team called “Pathways of Women’s Empowerment” housed in the BRAC Development Institute (BDI) where she is researching the cultural history of women in Bangladesh. She is also a member of Naripokkho, a woman’s activist group in Bangladesh. Firdous Azim has published widely both in the field of post-colonialism and literature, as well as on feminist issues. Her books include The Colonial Rise of the Novel (Routledge, 1993) and Infinite Variety: Women in Society and Literature(University Press Limited, Dhaka, 1996). She is a contributing editor for Feminist Review, for which she has edited a special issue entitled South Asian Feminisms: Negotiating New Terrains. (March 2009).Maheen Sultan is one of the Founders of the Centre for Gender and Social Transformation at the BRAC Development Institute, BRAC University, a regional centre on research, teaching, and policy related to gender and social transformation based in Bangladesh. She is a development practitioner with over 25 years of experience in working for NGOs, donors, the UN, Grameen Bank, and the Bangladeshi government in a range of capacities, from direct programme management to policy formulation. She is a member of Naripokkho, a Bangladeshi women’s activist organisation, and a Board member of Caritas Bangladesh and Utsho Bangladesh. She is also a member of the ADB External Forum on Gender and Development. Her current research interests include women’s organising and movements and women’s work and mobilising.

Gulalai Ismail is the founder and chair of Aware Girls, an organisation for and led by young women. She started Aware Girls at the age of 16 to provide a leadership platform for young women and girls of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the north west of Pakistan. Her ten years of work has been characterised by promoting peace and pluralism; challenging religious extremism and militancy; promoting good governance in areas stricken by militancy, providing civic education to young people; strengthening democracy; and political mainstreaming of young women. She also works as a member of the Gender Working Group of the United Network of Young Peacebuilders and is a member of the organising committee of the Asian Democracy Network. She has been recognised both nationally and internationally and is on Foreign Policy Magazine’s 2013 list of 100 Leading Global Thinkers.


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.Naripokkho is a membership-based, women’s activist organisation working for the advancement of women’s rights and entitlements and building resistance against violence, discrimination and injustice in Bangladesh. Most of Naripokkho’s activities are voluntary. Naripokkho’s work is focused on these inter-related thematic areas – equality and the political empowerment of women; Violence Against Women (VAW) and women’s human rights; women’s health and reproductive rights; women’s economics rights; and communal harmony.


Women working in NGOs in South Asia, in mid-level leadership positions, and committed to human rights work are eligible. A total of 30 participants will be selected based on their application form.

Participants are required to stay for the duration of the course.


The Institute is supported by the Funding Leadership and Opportunities for Women (FLOW) Fund, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, allowing CREA to cover tuition, boarding, and lodging costs for all participants. Participants must cover their own travel expenses. A limited number of travel scholarships from CREA are available on a need basis.

Dates and VenueThe Feminist Leadership, Movement Building, and Rights Institute–South Asia will be held in Dhaka, Bangladesh, from 1 – 6 December 2014.

Applications are due on or before 28 October 2014. Application received after the due date will not be considered.Please send your applications to Sushma Luthra:Email:

Fax: +91 11 2437 7708

Post: 7 Mathura Road, 2nd Floor, Jangpura B, New Delhi-110014, India

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