Advocacy aims to change policies and structures that impact people’s ability to exercise and claim their rights. At the same time, cultural norms and practices also influence how the rights of structurally excluded groups are threatened regularly. For this reason, CREA undertakes public education through its digital media campaigns challenging criminalization of abortion and adolescent sexuality, advancing sex workers’ rights, and changing the public’s views of trans persons and people with disabilities, among others.
#AbortTheStigma is an annual campaign to normalize conversations about abortion and advocate for access to safe abortion. The online campaign is run in the lead-up to International Safe Abortion Day as well as on March 2 – She Decides Day. CREA developed the #AbortTheStigma Toolkit to provide rights-based and evidence-based information for activists and advocates to work on the issue to dispel myths and misconceptions about abortion in India and embrace reproductive justice for all. Infographics and many other resources are available to be used globally.
Drawing Resistance and Resilience
This week-long online campaign in December 2020 highlighted locally driven initiatives to address gender-based violence. Using graphic narratives, “Drawing Resistance and Resilience” aimed to depict how structurally excluded communities organized, intervened, and resisted issues of violence along with highlighting powerful stories of change and learnings, especially in the COVID-19 context.
The All Women Count consortium, a former consortium that CREA led, collected nine stories and worked with six illustrators based in the global South to capture these stories of resilience and learning, which were shared on CREA’s social media channels. The illustrated stories explored broad themes of gender-based violence, queer mental health issues, sex workers’ rights, access to essentials and justice, and more. Learn more about the campaign and view the Drawing Resistance and Resilience graphic narratives here.
This month-long campaign was organized in 2019 (4 October – 7 November). It focused on encouraging young people to critically engage with the “#FlawsInLaws: Rethink My Freedoms, Reimagine my Rights, Realize my Futures” campaign, which aimed to challenge criminalization of young people’s sexuality by challenging protectionist approaches, laws, and policies affecting young people’s sexuality and the package of laws and policies that aim to “protect” young people from “sexuality-related harm” but which often criminalize their exploration of their own sexuality.
CREA worked with seven partners to conduct the campaign primarily online using images, infographics, research studies, data, stories, and lived experiences in a variety of media. These aimed to show how criminalization restricts rather than enhances, consensual sexual conduct, bodily autonomy, and identity through laws, policies, and regulations that limit access to health services (like HIV testing and treatment or contraception), age-appropriate information to sexual and reproductive health, self-arranged medical procedures (like abortion), or sexual conduct (age of consent to sex laws).
Find more about the campaign on the Challenging Criminalization website.
Mujhe Bhi Gino (Count Me Too)
The Mujhe Bhi Gino (Count Me Too) campaign was a CREA campaign that was run under the former CREA ‘It’s My Body’ program. For the campaign, CREA partnered with six organizations working on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). CREA painted a truck and with selected girl and women leaders visited different districts and villages to talk about issues such as gender-based violence and SRHR. As part of the campaign, we traveled from Jharkhand to Mahoba and reached almost 5000 people through programs and events at the community level.
Photos: Katkatha Puppet Arts Trust
The #NotJustMyWork was a campaign to draw attention to the myriad ways in which universal human rights apply to sex workers. Sex workers are organizing to claim and advance their rights as workers, as citizens entitled to social benefits, as part of the feminist movement, and as people entitled to a life of respect and non-discrimination. CREA in partnership with the All India Network of Sex Workers (AINSW) launched this campaign to suspend judgment around sex workers.
Shifting discourse does not happen overnight. We have to challenge ourselves to suspend judgment and be reflective within our own feminist organizing. CREA launched the Suspend Judgment campaign in 2016 to enable all of us to think and act differently.
Suspend Judgment features 14 unique parchas (political leaflets) at the intersection of sexuality, gender and rights. Inspired by the movement traditions of the Global South, CREA imagined Suspend Judgment as a mini-movement within itself engaging feminists to think and act intersectionally and to reflect critically on deeply rooted assumptions that hinder inclusivity. The 14 parchas feature feminist perspectives across movements from sex workers’ rights, pleasure and consent, intersex rights, abortion stigma, anti-trafficking, bodily integrity, disability and sexuality and more. To see our entire Suspend Judgment parcha collection click here.
Your Protection Doesn’t Protect Me
In 2021 and 2022, CREA led the digital advocacy campaign ‘Your Protection Doesn’t Protect Me’ with the Women Gaining Ground (WGG) consortium. The campaign launched on 25th November of each year to mark the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV). The campaign’s key message was to call for rights-based solutions instead of protectionist approaches for preventing and responding to GBV. The campaign aimed to highlight how girls and women, including those with disabilities, trans and non-binary persons are indispensable change-makers when they are empowered to explore, discuss, and act on GBV issues both locally and globally.
Both campaigns (2021 and 2022) were undertaken in English, Hindi, and Bengali to reflect the diverse languages across the WGG focus countries.