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The Feminist Leadership, Movement Building and Rights Institute – South Asia
Sri Lanka
24th January – 1st February, 2024

Application Deadline:  15th October, 2023

The Institute

CREA’s Feminist Leadership, Movement Building, and Rights Institute (FLMBaRI) – South Asia is a residential program, designed to strengthen feminist solidarity, leadership, advocacy, and strategies for building collective power for social transformation. The Institute engages feminists from across the region to build a substantive understanding of our present with all its challenges and possibilities. It interrogates concepts and structures that have a bearing on our strategies through embedding patriarchy and gender in concepts of nation, identity, religion, polity and development. To make meaning of what feminist struggles have transformed, and how new forms of patriarchy are part of existing inequalities.

The Institute is designed on the premise that feminist leadership can be strengthened and have greater impact when women’s rights activists and advocates have greater conceptual clarity and strategic approaches that go to the roots of inequality rather than dealing with its symptoms alone. The Institute aims to encourage and enable participants to:

Concepts such as nation, identity, power and development that affect our struggles and strategies by reshaping the discourse and practices of patriarchy and gender.

Different forms of leadership through feminist journeys, histories and standpoints across generations.

New and collaborative modes of resistance in the face of emerging configurations of power. A team of feminist activists from the global South will teach at the Institute using classroom instruction, group work, theatre, simulation exercises, films, music and case studies. The process of learning is based on four core pedagogic principles.

Locate our everyday, ‘micro’ individual and organisational practices in the macro context of the larger women’s movement and of other struggles for gender equality and justice.

Deepen curiosity and self-reflexiveness among participants by facilitating conversations that traverse geographies, generations and diversity of concerns and political standpoints.

Build solidarity across borders by bringing into focus the shared sense of being South Asian. This including a deeper understanding of our common heritage, historical interlinkages as well as ruptures and differences. The idea is to explore together what constitutes South Asian Feminist practice — both as an assumption and an aspiration.

With this, participants will be able to critically assess women’s movements in South Asia and explore concrete strategies to strengthen links between women’s movements and other social justice movements to advance women’s human rights more collectively.

Institute Pedagogy

Activists, practitioners and academicians will teach the course using classroom instruction, group work, case studies, fiction, and films.

  • The Institute emphasizes linking theory to practice;
  • The participants will learn to critically analyze policy, research, and their own program interventions, using a rights-based approach;
  • The Institute is not a training or workshop, and attempts to recast the idea of collective and experiential ways of learning;
  • The Institute emphasizes learning led by world-class faculty.


The Institute will be held from 24th January – 1st February, 2024 in Sri Lanka. Participants will be expected to arrive on 24th January and are expected to be present throughout the entire duration of the Institute, i.e., for 7 nights, and 8 days.

Institute Costs

  • CREA will cover tuition, accommodation and meals for all participants during the course. Accommodation will be on a twin-sharing basis.
  • A limited number of travel scholarships are available (visa fees and travel insurance are not included).
  • Those not receiving a travel scholarship are responsible for making their own arrangements for travel, visa and insurance.


Core faculty

Dipta Bhog is a a creative facilitator, who has over three decades of experience of working on issues of gender and education, women’s rights and development. She is a founding member of “Nirantar”, a Centre for Gender and Education, based in New Delhi. Her new areas of interests are identity and caste, while in the past she has worked with rural women and grassroots women leaders, building on their leadership and organisational strength. She was also part of the setting up of Khabar Lahariya, the first rural and Dalit women led newspaper in 2002.

She conceptualized and coordinated a study titled, Textbook Regimes: A Feminist Analysis of Nation and Identity, in partnership with four leading women’s studies departments in four Indian state universities, that analyzed language and social science textbooks from elementary and secondary schools. Dipta has developed curriculum, textbooks, creative reading material, comic-books and digital installations to communicate feminist ideas and insights. Recently, she conceptualized The Third Eye, a feminist learning portal, which focuses on the intersections of gender, sexuality and technology.

Paromita Chakravarti is Professor, Department of English, at Jadavpur University (JU) and former Director, School of Women’s Studies. She has also been the convenor of the Cell against Sexual harassment at JU. She teaches drama, women’s writing, queer and film studies and has worked on gender representation in school textbooks, sexuality education, women’s higher education, women and HIV/AIDS. Closely associated with the women’s movement in Kolkata, Paromita is active in the queer, sex worker, homeless and single women’s movements. She introduced one of the first postgraduate courses in Queer Studies in the Department of English at JU. Her book, Women Contesting Culture, co-edited with Prof. Kavita Panjabi was published in 2012. Dr. Chakravarti is also the founding member of “Ebong Alap”, an NGO which works on critical pedagogies and serves as board member of “Anjali”, an NGO working on mental health.

Visiting Faculty

The course will also be taught by other activists, academicians, practitioners and researchers from South Asia.

Application Criteria

FLMBaRI South Asia is for activists, service-providers, community organizers, researchers and human rights practitioners, working on issues of sexuality, sexual and gender diversity and diversity of sex characteristics/LGBTIQ rights, sexual rights, sexual and reproductive health and rights, rights of persons with disabilities, HIV/AIDS, public health, violence against women/gender-based violence, health, and/or gender, nationally, regionally or globally.

30 participants will be selected to attend. Participants should be embedded in human rights and/or feminist movements or civil society, or be working closely with them. We invite applications from academics, artists, activists, and media practitioners etc., particularly those from structurally excluded groups based in South Asia. Full-time students are NOT eligible.

All applicants must be fully vaccinated against COVID and have copies of their vaccination certificates to enable travel to Sri Lanka. 

Application Deadline and Selection Process 

Applications are due on or before 15th October 2023. We will review each application carefully. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Early applications are given priority.

Note: The process of selection will begin with the application of participants. You are requested to send the filled-in application form as early as possible.


Accessible versions of this call here can be found here: (PDF) & (Word). Applicants can also find accessible versions of the form here (PDF) & (Word), which can be emailed to

If sending by email, please write ‘FLMBaRI SA Application Form’ in the subject line of the email.