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who we are

We think sexuality is really at the frontier of women’s rights. It is a huge area through which control is wielded over our lives. It is about all of us—every woman. How I see who I see; whether I marry; how I spend my money; can I be who I really am; can I make choices; do these choices mean that I face discrimination, stigma, inequality, violence?

Geetanjali Misra | Executive Director, CREA

CREA Logo

Founded in 2000, 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.

Together with partners from a diverse range of human rights movements and networks, CREA works to advance the rights of women and girls, and the sexual and reproductive freedoms of all people. CREA advocates for positive social change through national and international fora, and provides training and learning opportunities to global activists and leaders through its Institutes.

CREA is a feminist international human rights organization based in the Global South and led by women from the Global South. CREA’s work draws upon the inherent value of a rights-based approach to sexuality and gender equality.

CREA promotes, protects, and advances human rights and the sexual rights of all people by building leadership capacities of activists and allies; strengthening organizations and social movements; creating and increasing access to new information, knowledge, and resources; and enabling supportive social and policy environments.

‘The sexy, fearless, madly-creative, edgy, colourful, interrogative and elegant flock of birds flying in formation.’

vision

CREA envisions a more just and peaceful world, where everyone realizes their autonomy, dignity, and equality.

mission

CREA builds feminist leadership, strengthens movements, challenges unjust power structures, expands sexual and reproductive freedoms, and advances the human rights of structurally excluded people.

structural exclusion

CREA uses the term “structurally excluded” to draw attention to the ways in which societal architecture prevents certain people from enjoying the full spectrum of rights and from meaningfully and effectively participating in their communities and decision-making spaces.

Our work focuses on preventing individual harms, dismantling the structures that construct and sustain those harms, and creating pathways to justice for persons excluded because of their real or perceived genders, sexualities, identities, or chosen forms of labor.

At present, CREA works with structurally excluded women and girls, persons of diverse sexualities, genders and sex characteristics, persons with disabilities, and sex workers. CREA will continue to practice and advocate for broader inclusion and solidarity.

strategies

CREA works towards its mission via the six C’s:

capacitate:

CREA strives to equip our partners and constituencies of structurally excluded people with the knowledge, understanding, resources and skills to demand their rights, engage in advocacy, and strengthen individual and collective resilience. We convene cohorts of individuals and organizations who have the capacity to bring a sexuality, gender and rights perspective to their work. And we strengthen movements by fostering an intersectional approach focused on building collective efforts to defend civic space and influence decision-makers.

communicate:

CREA brings women, girls, and other invisible and silenced people, as well as feminist activists and organizations to decision-making tables, equips them with knowledge, resources and skills to negotiate effectively to make their own decisions, to exert control over their own bodies, and demand their rights.

complicate:

CREA practices politics of deep inclusion. We identify matters that have been neglected or that provoke tension, and challenge ourselves and our partners to engage in difficult but meaningful discussions. We create opportunities for our partners to rethink, reimagine and reboot feminist politics and strategies in ways that fully embrace diversity and inspire action.

connect:

CREA connects communities and organizations with each other and links advocates and activists across local, regional, and global levels. We aim to shift power by connecting those who are often structurally excluded to decision-making processes and opportunities to advocate for their rights. We support our partners and constituencies to develop new relationships, to collaborate, to build solidarity, and to work together to defend and expand civic space — online, in the public sphere, and in policy-making processes.

create:

CREA practices politics of deep inclusion. We identify matters that have been neglected or that provoke tension, and challenge ourselves and our partners to engage in difficult but meaningful discussions. We create opportunities for our partners to rethink, reimagine and reboot feminist politics and strategies in ways that fully embrace diversity and inspire action.

convene:

CREA collaborates with multiple social movements on cross-cutting issues of gender, sexuality and rights. We bring together diverse movements and organizations to build common understanding, allyship and a commitment to shared action. Working from an intersectional perspective allows CREA to bridge fault lines between social movements, foster courageous conversations, and build cross-movement linkages.

our values

Critical feminist practice: CREA aims to practice inclusive and intersectional feminism — centering gender, sexuality, accessibility and rights and amplifying the voices and visibility of those structurally excluded.

Diversity & cross-movement collaboration: CREA promotes cross-movement knowledge, solidarity, and collaboration.

Multigenerational approaches: CREA practices multigenerational mentorship and learning within the framework of movement-building.

Innovation and creativity: CREA strives to ignite ideas, knowledge, and alliances — translating creative and critical thinking into action.

Sharing and shifting power: CREA works through partnerships — redistributing resources, knowledge and power, and opening spaces and expanding possibilities for activists to build collective power.

history

CREA was founded by Geetanjali Misra and Pramada Menon, development professionals who had been working in the diverse fields of reproductive health, sexuality, violence against women, media, and women’s rights in India for more than fifteen years. After noting the troubling lack of prominent feminist voices in India, CREA was established to address the need for a radical organization focused on developing the leadership capacities of young women in addressing issues of sexuality and reproductive health and rights, violence against women, and social justice.

CREA was registered in April 2000 in New Delhi, where it is headquartered, and in New York in 2001, with the long-term vision to create a strong Global South-based organization that works at local, regional, and international levels.

CREA has grown in size and scale in recent years, and its evolution has been informed by its experiences and learnings as well as reflections on and persistent questioning of its positioning, approaches and methodologies. As we approach our 20th anniversary, CREA along with its Board and advisors has initiated a bold, feminist intersectional process to rethink, reimagine, and reboot our work, approaches and strategies.