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Sexuality, Gender, and Rights Institute
Global, 2023

Exploring theory and practice


27 May to 3 June 2023
Zagreb, Croatia


Application Deadline: 7 March 2023

The Institute

CREA’s Sexuality, Gender, and Rights Institute (SGRI) is a residential course, begun in 2007, which focuses on a conceptual study of sexuality. It examines the links between sexuality, gender, and rights, and their interface with socio-cultural, political, and legal issues.


The Institute will be held from 27 May to 3 June 2023, in Zagreb, Croatia. Participants will be expected to arrive on 26 May, and depart on 4 June and are expected to be present throughout the entire duration of 9 nights, and 8 days.

Institute Content

Sexuality is a complex field of study, which spans multiple disciplines and areas of work. Accordingly, the course content of the SGRI will focus on a conceptual and theoretical study of sexuality, gender and rights, and intersections between the three, drawing from different social science disciplines.


  • Sexuality, social construction theories
  • Sexuality, gender, human rights, and the criminal law
  • Sexuality, gender, and power
  • Sexuality, and the state
  • Sexuality, freedom of expression, and censorship
  • Sexuality, media, and culture
  • Sexual and gender diversities, and diversity of sex characteristics, and rights
  • Sexuality, and disability
  • Understanding anti-gender mobilization, and human rights claims
  • Case studies of program interventions

Institute Pedagogy

Activists, practitioners and academics will teach the course using classroom instruction, group work, case studies, simulation exercises, fiction, and films. The Institute is not a workshop or a training.

  • Links theory and practice: Imparts new thinking, theory and conceptual frameworks
  • Provides diverse analytical approaches and tools that can be applied across contexts and issues
  • Pedagogical strategies are grounded in a social construction approach to gender, sexuality and rights
  • Brings critical thinking and rigor and recasts the idea of collective and experiential ways of learning
  • Attends to reasonable accommodation as required
  • Includes faculty comprising of activists, practitioners and academics

What to Expect

  • The Institute is rigorous and intensive
  • The Institute is heavy on reading: mostly academic articles, and some other literature
  • Films are a part of the curriculum – not optional
  • Sessions are faculty-led and rely on the basis that the faculty are there to teach participants
  • Timeliness is essential, since the days are packed from start to finish
  • The Institute does not have built-in time for networking; participants often do this on their own time.


The Institute will be conducted in English. Strong English-language competency (including in reading) is required for all applicants. If you do not fit this criteria, we are happy to help you find other capacity-building opportunities in your region and in your preferred language.


Faculty will include (this is not an exhaustive list), in alphabetical order:

Alice Miller, JD, is an Associate Professor (Adjunct) of Law at Yale Law School and the Co-Director of the Global Health Justice Partnership. She is also an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Yale School of Public Health;
Carole Vance, PhD, MPH, an internationally-recognized anthropologist who has published widely on sexuality, human rights, science, gender, and health. She coordinated the landmark Barnard Conference on Sexuality and edited Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality;
Daughtie Ogutu is an African feminist, sex worker leader, and sexual and reproductive health and rights advocate; Daughtie co-founded and led the African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA) for a decade;
Ghada Boulos is a story-teller, tour-guide and intersex organizer from Nazareth. She founded Ghada’s Corner, a center dedicated to research on folklore and ethnography;
Geetanjali Misra is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of CREA. Geetanjali has worked at the activist, grant-making, and policy levels on issues of sexuality, reproductive health, gender and rights. She has taught as an adjunct professor at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health;
Katrina Karkazis, PhD, is a cultural anthropologist working at the intersection of science and technology studies, theories of gender and race, social studies of medicine, and bioethics, whose research and teaching examine—and challenge—scientific and medical beliefs about gender, sexuality, and the body;
Meena Seshu is an activist for sex workers’ rights, and the founder of the non-governmental organisation SANGRAM (India) which is aimed at empowering sex workers;
Neish McLean is a Jamaican trans activist with local, regional and international experience in trans advocacy. He is the former Executive Director and Co-Founder of TransWave Jamaica, and Vice-Chair of the United Caribbean Trans Network;
Niluka Gunawardena, is a crip-queer feminist, a disability justice and queer rights advocate and educator from Colombo, Sri Lanka, and teaches Disability Studies at the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka;
Sealing Cheng received her doctorate from the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Oxford University, and became a Rockefeller postdoctoral fellow in Gender, Sexuality, Health, and Human Rights at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. She teaches at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

A special lecture by Shohini Ghosh, a renowned essayist on sexuality and popular culture a documentary filmmaker, and the Sajjad Zaheer Professor of media at the AJK Mass Communication Research Center, Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi.

And other practitioners and scholars!

Application Criteria

The SGRI is for activists, service-providers, community organizers, lawmakers, policymakers, researchers and other 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, locally, nationally, regionally or globally.

Approximately 30 participants will be selected to attend. Participants should be embedded in human rights and/or feminist movements and/or civil society, or be working closely with them. Full-time students are not eligible. All applicants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and willing and able to undertake international travel to Croatia.

We encourage individuals from the global South to apply. We invite members of structurally excluded groups to apply, regardless of location.

Application Deadline & Selection Process

Applications are due on or before 7 March 2023. Applications will be evaluated and participants will be selected on a weekly basis so you are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. To apply online, click here. If you experience difficulty with the online form, please download, fill out and email the .doc version of the form to as soon as you can. Early applications are given priority. CREA staff will review each application carefully. We will only contact applicants who have been selected to attend.

Institute Cost for Participants

Registration fee:

  • USD 250: All selected participants will have to pay this fee (including those receiving scholarships)

Course fees:

  • USD 4000: participants working with donors/funders, and international non-governmental organizations
  • USD 2000: subsidized rate for all participants who work with global South organizations

Course fees cover tuition, a resource package, and accommodation on a twin-sharing basis, while you are at the Institute (with check-in on 26 May and checkout on 4 June). Single rooms are very limited. Participants desiring single rooms will be allotted these only on availability, and will have to pay a supplementary amount.

What course fees do not include:

  • Course fees do not include any travel costs to and from the Institute, including international travel, visa expenses, and local transport;
  • Course fees do not include daily lunches and dinners (breakfast will be provided at the hotel as a part of the accommodation package from 14 – 21 May). There are many affordable cafes and restaurants around the venue.

Registration and course fees are due on or before 1 April 2023, to be paid to CREA.

Travel, Visa, and Travel Health Insurance

Participants are responsible for meeting all travel and visa costs themselves, including travel to and from the Institute. You are also responsible for obtaining a valid entry visa (as required) in a timely manner. CREA will support expediting visa applications by providing necessary documentation, as required. Please check the entry visa requirements for your country, to Croatia, as soon as possible, and please check on wait-times for the visa in your country. Croatia is now a member of the Schengen area (as of 1 Jan 2023), and holders of Schengen visas can enter Croatia. Please see here for the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Croatia’s website, for the latest information.

Every chosen participant (including scholarship recipients) is required to pay for and obtain travel health insurance before they travel to the Institute, covering the entire duration of the Institute. Your travel health insurance plan should cover emergency COVID-19 hospitalization / health services.


In order to run this Institute in a sustainable and comfortable manner, CREA pays approximately USD 5000 per participant. 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. Apply early to be eligible for a scholarship.

  • FULL SCHOLARSHIP: CREA covers tuition, resource package, and accommodation on a twin-sharing basis
  • PARTIAL SCHOLARSHIP: CREA will supplement a financial contribution made by you, between 50%-70% covered by scholarship

Scholarships do not cover:

  • Scholarships do not cover international travel, visa fees, or local transport
  • Scholarship recipients will also be responsible for covering their lunches and dinners
  • Scholarship recipients still have to pay the registration fee

Eligible for Scholarships:

  • Individuals working for national/local organizations in the global South
  • Individuals working and residing in the global South
  • Individuals working with or in groups to advance the rights of structurally excluded people

Not Eligible for Scholarships:

  • Individuals working with international non-governmental organizations
  • Individuals working at donors/funding organizations

We encourage those who can, to please pay in full or in part, to attend the Institute. This may require fundraising for your participation, through your organization and/or your funders. This helps us make the Institute more accessible to others by giving out more scholarships.

Funding Opportunities  

We encourage participants to approach donors to ask them to sponsor participation. Possible sources for funding include the organization you work for; your organization’s donors (some funders will consider travel grants to current grantees); the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF), the Ford Foundation, the Global Fund for Women, Women’s Fund Asia, Mama Cash, Open Society Foundation, Foundation for a Just Society, or any women’s / human rights funds in your region. We suggest that you begin researching options immediately upon submitting your application to us. CREA will also directly reach out to donors.


We strive to provide reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities. Please let us know what your accessibility needs are at the time of application, and we will let you know in advance if we can provide accommodations to suit your needs.

Covid Safety 

The state-run Croatian Tourism website contains information about COVID-19 related safety for those entering Croatia, to ensure your visit to Croatia is safe. Please make sure you find out re-entry requirements for your own country, well in advance. Zagreb has government-listed COVID-19 testing sites, and we will ensure we have a list.

Who We Are  

CREA is a global feminist human rights organization led by feminists from the global South. CREA envisions a just and peaceful world, where everyone lives with dignity, respect and equality. CREA works to build feminist leadership, expand sexual and reproductive freedoms of all people, prevent gender-based violence and address its structural causes, and foster the collective resilience of feminist movements to defend and expand civic space.


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 ‘SGRI Global Application Form’ in the subject line of the email.