Sexuality, Gender, and Rights Institute: Exploring Theory and Practice 2018

7 March 2018

CREA’s Sexuality, Gender, and Rights Institute:

Exploring Theory and Practice



9 – 17 June 2018

Capalbio, Italy

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


The Sexuality, Gender, and Rights Institute (SGRI) is for individuals working on issues of sexuality, LGBT rights, sexual rights, sexual and reproductive health and rights, rights of persons with disabilities, HIV/AIDS, violence against women, health, and/or gender nationally, regionally or globally.


Please submit your application as soon as possible. We will be selecting participants each week on a rolling basis, in order to begin the process of visa applications as well as seeking funding opportunities as soon as possible. Though the deadline to submit your application is 31 March 2018, early applications will be given priority, and thus we encourage you to apply much before the deadline.


Applications are due on or before 31 March 2018. To apply online, CLICK HERE. If you experience difficulty with the online method, download the application CLICK HERE and e-mail the completed form to Sushma Luthra at Send any queries to Ms. Luthra as well.


Course Content

Sexuality is a complex field of study that 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.


The Institute will explore issues and themes such as

• 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 and gender diversities and rights

• Sexuality and disability

• Sexual rights advocacy

• Case studies of program intervention



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 global levels. CREA's mission is to build feminist leadership, advance women's human rights, and expand sexual and reproductive freedoms for all people.




Only 30 participants will be selected for SGRI, 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, LGBTI rights, sexual rights, sexual and reproductive health and 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.


Venue and Dates

The Sexuality, Gender, and Rights Institute will be held in Capalbio in Tuscany, Italy, during 9-17 June 2018. (Begins at 9 am on 9 June 2018; Ends at 2 pm on 17 June 2018). The Institute will take place at the Tenuta Monteti Conference Centre in Capalbio. The Institute venue is one and a half hours outside of Rome, and ensures an environment conducive to learning. Considerations have been made to ensure reasonable accommodation and accessibility for all participants.


Travel and Visa

Participants are responsible for incurring their travel costs to and from the Institute and obtaining their own visa. CREA will give advice and assistance in the visa application process. Please allot enough time to the visa application, as the process and timeline may take upto 30/40 days in some cases. Please do check the requirements for your country.


Registration Costs

Registration and Course fees are due on or before 10 May 2018.

Registration Fee: USD 250. All selected applicants will have to pay this fee.

Course Fee: USD 3250. This covers tuition, resource package, accommodation on a twin-sharing basis and all meals from 8-17 June 2018 (9 nights). Please note that this is a subsidised cost for participation. The expenses per participant are approximately USD 4500.

International NGOs and Donor Agencies: USD 4500. This will cover tuition, resource package, accommodation on a twin-sharing basis and all meals from 8-17 June 2018 (9 nights).


Course fee does not include travel costs to and from the Institute venue for anyone.



Accommodation will be on twin-sharing basis. Single rooms are very limited. Participants desiring single rooms will be allotted these only on availability, and will have to pay a supplement of USD 600.



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, sex workers' rights, and rights of people with disabilities directly

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

Please clearly indicate if you are applying for a scholarship.

  • Full Scholarship

c Tuition, Resource Package, Meals and Accommodation

  • Partial Scholarship

c Tuition, Resource Package – USD 2000

c Meals for 9 Days – USD 500

c Accommodation for 9 Nights – USD 750

  • Would you be able to cover any amount even if applying for full or partial scholarship?

Would you like to make a Scholarship Contribution for the Institute?

c USD 500

c USD 1000

c Any other amount – USD _________________



Please submit your application as soon as possible. We will be selecting participants each week on a rolling basis, in order to begin the process of visa applications as well as seeking funding opportunities as soon as possible. Though the deadline to submit your application is 31 March 2018, early applications will be given priority, and thus we encourage you to apply much before the deadline.


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, Open Society Foundations, and Foundation for a Just Society. We suggest that you begin researching options immediately upon submitting your application to us.


Participating Faculty (Proposed)


Alice M. Miller is Co-Director, Global Health Justice Partnership between the Law and Public Health Schools at Yale University, Associate Scholar for International Human Rights/Associate Professor (Adjunct, Fall/Spring) Yale Law School, Assistant Clinical Professor Yale School of Public Health, and Lecturer in Global Affairs at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, Yale University. Dr. Miller’s work focuses on critical engagement with the theory and practice of gender, health, rights claims and law.  This work includes attention to women’s rights, sexual and reproductive rights, including LGBTI rights, the role of the criminal law in human rights, human rights and humanitarianism, health as a human right and the interplay of domestic and international law in developing new rights norms.  Her experience encompasses not only scholarship but more than two decades of advocacy and training with NGOs in the US and globally, as well as with UN and other inter-governmental agencies. She teaches with the goal of facilitating analytically rigorous, reflective practitioners and advocates, and has taught extensively in policy, law, and public health schools.


Carole S. Vance, PhD, MPH, is an anthropologist who writes about sexuality, science, politics, and social change. At Columbia University, she founded and directed the Program for the Study of Sexuality, Gender, Health and Human Rights. She is currently a Fellow at Yale University in the Global Health Justice Partnership. She has extensively written about sexual theory; trafficking; science, sexuality, gender, and health; and policy controversies about sexual expression and imagery. She edited Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality (1984, 1993, the papers of the influential Barnard Sexuality Conference). She is the recipient of the David R. Kessler Award for lifetime contribution to the study of sexuality (2005) and the Simon-Gagnon Award for career contributions to the study of sexualities (2014).


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 has taught as an adjunct professor on the intersection of LGBT issues, sexual rights and public health at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and 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). She also co-founded SAKHI for South Asian Women in 1989, a non-profit organization in New York, committed to ending violence against women of South Asian origin. She currently chairs the Board of Reproductive Health Matters (UK), a global peer reviewed journal on sexual and reproductive health and rights. Formerly, she was Chair of the Board of Mama Cash (the Netherlands), a Board Member of FHI 360 (USA) and also served as President of the Board of the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) where she led a strategic planning and organizational development process leading to changes in leadership roles and structure.


Ghada Boulos is a Palestinian living in Haifa Israel. She works as a tour Guide in her Country and abroad (Istanbul, Armenia, Bosnia). In her guiding, she has chosen to build bridges from herself to that which is special in humankind. In an era that fosters separatism and incites conflicts, she chooses to focus on cohesion and harmony. Her faith is rooted in the belief that, by training herself to inner peace, she can connect to others even in times of struggle and conflict, in order to build bridges of peace. Her guiding is centered on humans and humanity. Harmony with the environment and preservation of its resources are important elements in her work. She loves stories and uses them, along with song, humor and theater, to extend a hand to others in her tours and lectures. She was born as Intersex and since the age of 27 has been active in prompting the Intersex Human rights and had founded the first Support group In the Country.


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 convened the Third Disability, Sexuality, and Rights Online Institute at the end of 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 last DaDaFest was a part of the cultural initiative of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012, and the next will be in 2014, combined with a Congress addressing the value of disability arts as a route to greater control and power for disabled people.


Katrina Karkazis is a cultural anthropologist with extensive training in science and technology studies, gender studies, and empirical bioethics. Her work challenges entrenched scientific and medical beliefs about gender, sexuality, and the body across a range of specialised topics, but singularly focused-on the promotion of social justice. She is currently writing a book, T: The Unauthorized Biography that examines the varied identities of testosterone in U.S. culture, and has contributed to Dutee Chand's successful appeal of the IAAF's hyperandrogenism regulation at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and served as an expert witness in the hearing.

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.


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. She is currently conducting research with African asylum-seekers in Hong Kong, and arts as a form of empowerment.


Svati P Shah, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies with an adjunct appointment in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Shah's work has been published in a range of academic journals and popular publications, including Cultural Dynamics, Rethinking Marxism, Al Jazeera America, and The Caravan. Her book, Seeing Sexual Commerce: Sex, Work, and Migration in the City of Mumbai, on sex work and migration in Mumbai's informal sector, was published in 2014 by Duke University Press. She is currently working on a book on red light districts in India, and a new project on the left and the politics of LGBTQ movements in India.


Special Lectures


Shohini Ghosh is Sajjad Zaheer Professor at the AJK Mass Communication Centre at Jamia Millia Islamia University, India. Ghosh directed Tales of the Nightfairies (2002), a film about the sex workers’ struggle for rights in Kolkata, India. She is author of the volume on Deepa Mehta’s Fire for the Queer Classics Series published by Arsenal Pulp Press, Vancouver, Canada and Orient Paperbacks, Delhi, India. Ghosh is co-founder of the Mediastorm Collective, an all-women documentary collective. She researches and writes on film, television, speech, censorship and sexuality. Currently Shohini is working on a monograph titled Violence and the Spectral Muslim: Action, Affect and Bombay Cinema at the turn of the 21st Century.



Applications are due on or before 31 March 2018. Applications received after this date will not be considered. Applicants will be informed about the selection decisions by 15 April 2018.

Contact Person: Sushma Luthra; E-mail: 


7 Mathura Road, Jangpura B, 2nd Floor, New Delhi – 10014, India

Phone: 91-11-243-77707 Fax: 91-11-243-77708

Email: Wesbite: