Feedback & comments

For CREA

“CREA dances on the edge, is ahead of the curve, in what it works on as well as how it does it.”

 

“CREA’s work is not about training in the sense of skills and technique absorption. It is about critical thinking and where that takes you.”

 

“CREA creates much-needed opportunities for inter-movement dialogue, especially women’s rights, sexual rights, disability rights.”

 

“Many donors are more educated because of CREA’s process of engagement (around “global”, sexuality and intersectionality).”

 

“In the beginning of CREA’s existence, there was this bias that international, as well as analytical work was the sole space of US-based international and white women-led organisations. What the world needed was groups like CREA to keep them accountable. But, the US-based groups working globally were the preferred partner of most US-based funders. It was ironic how obvious this bias was. Many donors asked CREA, ‘How can you be international if you are based in India?’”

 

“CREA brings an intersectional approach to sexuality, human rights, women's human rights, exclusion, disability. Without CREA, these links would be weaker.”

 

“A lot of organisations that have good leaders build goodwill—that is not unique. What is unique about CREA is the diversity of people amongst whom goodwill has been built, and who are willing to lend support.”

 

“CREA is a very good partner and ally. It does not try to take over the process or over attribute. It tries to place its role as best as it can. That is very CREA.”

 

“When CREA organises an event, people show up.”

 

“Organisations like CREA create spaces where there are no boundaries, where one can expand thinking—this should be highly valued because it really does not exist so much for activists and practitioners.”

 

“CREA has helped democratise access to good knowledge.”

 

“CREA’s advocacy (national and global level) is about growing spaces and making them more inclusive and strategic.”

 

“CREA was the first in the Indian context. Their concept of ‘Institutes’ breaks the instrumental approach to capacity building for activists and advocates that we tend to see here in India.”

 

“We are not just employing young people; it is CREA’s guiding force. We do not just 'include' young people; we know that it is with young people that the vibrancy and energy is.”

 

“Without CREA, less space for South–South and South–North dialogues would exist.”

 

“Without CREA, not as many young people would be involved in the same way in the sexual rights field.”

 

“CREA was a platform for my provocative ideas. It allowed me the space to develop them, and provided an enabling environment. Since then, I have written them down and they have got published.”

 

“Without them, links between women’s rights movements and movements of sexual minorities/sex workers/disabled women would be much weaker.”

 

“CREA has a sustained commitment to a variety of marginalised communities.”

 

“Their approach is about openness, about building bridges between communities, instead of just middle-class people engaging in activism.”

 

“CREA is always inclusive, always cognizant of other communities.”

 

“They are about growing policy space, making it more inclusive, including younger people.”

 

“CREA works in collaboration, and is a very good ally and partner. It is hard to locate whether CREA is a 'catalyst' or not. It does not try to take over the process, does not try to over-attribute, but instead, tries to always place its role with humility and balance.”

 

“They focus on providing young women activists with spaces and voices in activism, debates, and knowledge building.”

 

“CREA is one of the few organisations that do not infantilise young people.”

 

“The Institutes are extraordinary; the quality is world class. They are rigorous theoretically, involve excellent external resource people, and combine knowledge and practice.”

 

“Everybody has learnt something from this Institute. I thought I knew more than I actually did!”

 

“In our society, a woman who expresses desire, especially for sex, is viewed with great suspicion. Most often, women submit to sex with their partners, even though they may have no desire, because they do not think their expression of their own wishes in this matter would be considered ‘right’. The workshop opened our eyes to the world of sexuality, of sexual desire and preferences, of expressing one’s own desires about love and romance.”

 

“[What attracted me was] the sense of how they were exploring issues around sexuality, because these had concerned me over the years, and to see them dealt with in a framework where feminism was a key part...[I wanted] the possibility to explore issues around disability and its context in India, and how sexuality fed into that. It was a chance to do some exciting teaching that both offered opportunity to explore ideas and concepts as well as practicalities on the ground.”

 

“The Sexuality and Rights Institute is the first programme in India to address the complex, bias-ridden, and contentious issues of sexuality.”

 

www.sexualityanddisability.org

“I am happy to write that I thoroughly visited this website and found it to be extremely informative, useful, and thought-provoking. The most important feature of this website is that it is 100% accessible. It establishes that howsoever severe your disability may be, sex is your psychological and physical need. Further, there is nothing vulgar in this website and it is prepared from psychological, social, and clinical point of view. Moreover, it gives an enormous amount of external links and relevant articles. Thanks to the proprietors of this website.”

—Professor Shyam M Sayanekar, via e-mail

 

“First of all hats off to your guts, passion, and sensitisation for even thinking up of coming up with such an informative, educational, and very much needed website. People, especially apprehensive mothers, hesitate to speak on these issues or share their feelings. This website is a boon in disguise to many people who have anything to do with disability. God bless and keep the flag running high. It gives me immense pleasure to be associated with you.”

—Aditi Panda, via e-mail

 

“...We are Svjetlana and Jana, from organisation ‘Out of circle VOJVODINA’, from Serbia...We have a website of our organisation, www.izkrugavojvodina.org, and we would like to expand it, to make a separate section which would be about sexuality and disability. As you may know, we are practically very much involved in the field of sexuality and disability, working directly with users. However, it is such a rarity to find quality texts around these issues, and we found a treasure chest of this on CREA's website.

 

We read your website, and we liked link http://www.sexualityanddisability.org/, and texts that are there. We thought, with your and CREA's permission, to translate some of the texts in Serbian (mostly texts about body, having sex, and relationships, and less about having children and violence). Also, with your permission, we would publish link to CREA's website, and link to website sexuality and disability, so that is known which texts we took and translated from you, but also for people who know English to be in contact what is happening around the world with this important issue around sexuality and disability...”

—Svjetlana and Jana, Out of circle VOJVODINA, via e-mail

 

Sexuality, Gender, and Rights Institute—Global

“For the past almost 10 years, I have been lucky enough to sit in on many classes, training programs like this, and I have to say, many topics designed for these kinds of seminars, workshops or institutes focusing on sexuality and rights issue, such as reproductive health/rights,  sex work, gender equality, pornography, politics of representation, are quite the same. Then, what made this institute so different? My answer is, the faculty. You would never be able to meet fellows of this level in a short period of time in other courses…"

 

“In terms of the kind of structured courses, I think it has been quite a demanding course. But, really, really powerful at the same time. So, half of my brain has sat in the class. The other thing is that I have not been a participant in anything for a very, very long time. Being somebody who organises these kinds of things, half of my brain has been stuck in the kind of participant mode and the other half has been thinking about facilitating processes like organising and putting together curriculum and so forth. And, I think that CREA has done a great job. I can imagine the tensions constantly between wanting to create this space for discussions, go into things that are deep, but also wanting to expose to people as much as possible. I think, CREA has done an excellent job in striking that balance.”

—Carrie, South Africa

 

“What we have been learning is a very difficult question, because mainly, we have learnt a lot of concepts and theories, and how these concepts are related to our work and to a very different context. So, I am very glad. This is such a unique opportunity to have exchange of ideas, strategies, concerns, and questions with people from around the world. It is a unique opportunity for people like me from Latin America to know about the complexities of different kinds of environment in places like Africa and Asia. It is very impressive to see that sometimes, we have a lot in common and, sometimes, we find difficulties that are very alike among the continents or global tendencies. But, sometimes, we work in such a unique context. So, it has been a very impressive experience for me. I have learnt a lot from most of the lecturers and with my mates. I mean, it is not just about the formal course; we continue the discussions when we are eating. It is an ongoing experience of questioning assumptions. I also liked a lot that I have challenged many assumptions I had previously, mainly on sex work issues...you can truly debate at a very high level and you can be sincere to share with others the very polemic issues. So, I have been enriched basically by the arguments of others, and also trying to know why I think or approach certain problems with certain perspective.”

—Erik, Mexico

 

“...this has given me an opportunity to reflect on things that I have read before, but not thought about in enough detail. Also, I have never really critiqued them according to how I use them in my work. I have to say that all of the sessions, without an exception, have been really fascinating...I was really interested [in] affirmative rights because I think that one of the problems that we have in our work around LGBT and sex workers is that we talk a lot about violations and harm, but not about what it would look like to affirm our rights and assert them. We have engaged very much in the importance of sexual rights within the broader context of human rights, but we have not spent enough time talking about affirmative rights. I am sure that is to do with the situation in Zimbabwe, where it is a lot about harm and violations. But, I think, we need to move beyond that discourse and start talking about affirmation, particularly if you want to critique the human rights framework itself. I think, it is very difficult to critique something that you are using to only discuss harm. Once you start to discuss positive, affirmative actions, it is then that you are able to critique the framework...This is very interesting. In the work that we have done with organisations, particularly with women living with disabilities, I would like to get back and challenge them a little bit as well, about how they are taking the discourse on sexuality further, rather than simple talking about action and recognition. It is not about protecting them, but about fulfilling them. It has been an enabling and conducive environment that allows me to implement the choices that I am “allowed” to make...I think that a lot of the human rights activists in Zimbabwe would benefit hugely from this course, because there is so many assumptions about how human rights work should be done. The discourse around sexuality can be very informative of the other areas of work. I think that the ways the things have been challenged is very enlightening for me. I think that the human rights sector in Zimbabwe would benefit significantly from looking at the areas more deeply and also by pushing ourselves.”

—Sian Maseko, Zimbabwe

 

“It has been very, very insightful as far as course content is concerned. For me, this course has been a process of unlearning as much as it has been learning, because we have come here with almost two decades of information that has been entrenched in my belief system and how we operate in the society. One of the big issues has been around sexuality, where personally, I have been exposed to...stereotypes or the taboos behind sexuality. So, it has been a good opportunity to dig under.”

—Umra

 

“SGRI has been very interesting and empowering because I am learning new things; learning how to fit theory into practice as a practitioner. This has been helpful for me as am looking to going back and developing some courses with youth of my country to see how we can move debate on different issues on peace and security and sexuality, because this is the space that is very personal and political at the same time. SGRI has been able to give me ideas and information on how this can be made possible.”

—Toyin

 

“I am working on issues of human rights and sexuality. I thought that I knew what sexuality was until I actually started learning the concepts at this Institute. For me, this course has really challenged my thinking around sexuality. It has challenged how I work on human rights issues and how is it that I am also talking about issues of sexuality and linking that with the work that I do most of the time within the context that work in. It is like we are working on human rights on a broader level, which is challenging the law. Campaigns that just talk about human rights for all but not really going into deeper aspects of what do we mean what human rights are and who determines them, and looking at self and how personal is political.”

—Patience

 

“The real problem was that nobody, including myself, related these challenges to its real bottom causes—sexuality, gender, and rights. As a counselor to positive Transfusion Transmissible Infections (TTIs) in blood donors, I was faced with a lot of challenges when it came to explaining the effect of TTIs on donors’ sexual behavior before and after she/he contracted infection.”

—Mohamed Hamad, Center for Development Services, Egypt

 

“The Institute has made me stop categorising, judging or assuming. I would rather deploy efforts to listen, learn, and understand.”

—Marianne M Hanna, Egypt

 

“This is a vibrant community where we exchange materials, opinions, and feelings in an open way and ever-challenging environment!”

—Participant, SGRI 2012, about SGRI e-group

 

“I benefited a great deal from the course. I might not understand all that was presented in the course, because of the language, but I did learn a lot of new knowledge and information from the course. The course made me understand that ‘sexuality’ covers a broad range of topics, that is, sexuality is not only individual and personal but also social, cultural, and historical, and is not a ‘thing’ by itself but a social behavior that intersects with all important social distinctions and structures. It made me have a clearer understanding on the differences between sex and gender, the relationship between sexuality and gender, and so on. The information will be useful for me and my colleagues to develop education materials for sex education intervention in our studies. What we are planning to do is to put some of these contents on our sex education website to disseminate the information among school students and youth. Chinese adolescents know little about these concepts (sexuality, gender, and sexual rights), as current sex education in school does not cover the information. Moreover, the information will be very useful for our current study on Chinese youth sexuality and reproductive health development, by using the concepts into data analysis and preparing papers later. It will be also useful for me to be engaged in research on the field in the future; at least, we can involve parts of the contents of sexuality, gender, and rights into our future studies. 

 

Also, the course made me understand more deeply about human right, especially sexual rights, and made me know more about terms such as social construction theory, essentialism, postcolonial, and feminism, and about sexual rights advocacy, sexual difference, trans issues, sexuality and disability, sexual pleasure, and others. What most surprised me is the rights of sexual workers. In China, commercial sex is illegal; the course let me reconsider the issue. I shared the information I got in the course with my colleagues by discussion and introduction...It is meaningful to change people’s perceptions on these issues and to promote the process of transformation.”

—Lou, China

 

“My participation in SGRI has been very instrumental in forming my thoughts around gender and sexuality work. Since I were involved in both fields already, my perception of my own work and the efforts being done around me have really changed. Particular concepts and issues have been of great importance, such as postcolonial feminist thought, issues of representation, and limitation of human rights approach when working with Arab and Muslim communities. In light of those concepts, I was able to rethink my own approaches, language, and strategies. It is still a work in progress in my mind, and it has triggered a lot of questions that I started pursuing after leaving SGRI and until now. I think, I will continue to pursue those questions and learn more around those topics. Certainly, the mailing list [SGRI e-group] is a great opportunity for more learning and discussion with other SGRI graduates.

 

Since I am also moving to a new organisation that is human rights focused and as I will be responsible for sexual and reproductive health and rights there, I can take the learning I had in SGRI and develop it further during my work there.”

—Ahmed

 

“The nine days in the Institute in Istanbul is an unforgettable experience. I think, it benefits both my sexuality research and teaching career development. I truly hope more and more Chinese scholars could participant in this Institute, especially those whose works are often being excluded by the so-called mainstream research domains... As a teacher, I am impressed by the course design and interactive teaching in the Institute. Besides lectures, there are multiple ways for us to learn more about sexuality, such as movies, movie clips, websites of arts, documentary, group discussion, group presentation, and [various] kinds of assignments... One outstanding strategy the institute used is to use dynamics within participants to enhance learning and sharing...I was very excited to know so many people from the regions I had never been, such as Syria, Uganda, Southern Africa, Kyrgyzstan, Argentina, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, and Mexico. Most of the participants are the first people I met of their regions. The information they carried made me want to explore more about their politics and culture. Meanwhile, I felt a kind of responsibility to know more about China, to represent well of my country, and to make it better...I did learn a lot from the Institute and will digest what I have learnt, to use them in my future teaching, research, and advocacy.”

—Pei Yuxin, China

 

“I am leaving the Institute with more conceptual and strategic tools that I can use in the future legislations that I propose. I now know how to apply my knowledge into advocacy work and am now thinking about systems of accountability that can apply to non-State actors.”

—Participant, SGRI 2010

 

“I know that they were very happy to participate in this meeting because it gave a new perspective…It was first time in our history when there was combination of participants not only from traditional rights movements, but there were LGBT, disabled people, and sex workers. So, it was a first experience having opportunity for relation (sic), inter-communication, and sharing. I think, it is a pity that there is no common understanding that we are working in one field but in different corners, so that to make some change. We need to be together, we need to understand others. There should not be any isolation and marginalisation within women's movement…”

—Olga, Women’s Crisis Centre

 

“I discussed with my lawyer colleagues regarding the Institute...My BLAST colleagues are very positive on this. I shared with them. Some of them are very interested to work on sexuality, gender, and rights widely. It is very nice that in my working area, I have been invited to share my experience of the Institute.

 

 

Some more...

 

“Initially, I came with a limited programmatic view. But, looking at sexuality, gender, and rights from different perspectives has made me personally feel more a human less a ‘woman’ and, professionally, stronger to explain sexuality, gender, and rights.”

 

“Do not assume! Ask! For me, it was a personal experience in understanding sexuality. I often used the language of biology to explain sensualities; there is a clear shift in my understanding of sexuality now.”

 

“The idea that sexuality has a history and is a product of social construct was compelling.”

 

“It has really broadened my perspective; made me question my biases. I was able to look beyond gender. I got a whole new idea on the PCPNDT, pornography, and so on.”

 

“My idea on sex work, age of consent, child pornography, violence and women, and the restrictive effect that it has on the work on sexual freedom has been a great learning. Also, to look at sex work as an occupation that can come under labour laws was amazing.”

 

“The hijacking of the gender agenda to promote racism was a totally new concept.”

 

“My monopolistic and ethical values are STRIPPED in a BIG way. [My] Biases on lesbian issues have had a great change.”

 

“The whole arena of ‘pleasure’ and importance of addressing it in the context of agency of women was not part of my analysis. It has influenced my thinking in many ways.”

 

“I have come to understand and articulate diversity—sexual diversity—rather than calling ‘different’ or ‘from the third gender’, which is a very easy term that I had been using. I also understand the need to articulate and identify oneself based on one’s sexual preference. The entire concept of fluidity regarding sexuality is important, even while identifying to a particular form is very interesting.”

 

Feminist Leadership, Movement Building, and Rights Institute—East Africa

“My organisation is led by sex workers. Leadership has been our challenge. But, from this Institute, I know where we are going. We are going to re-strategise and [determine] his or her role in the organisation. I would also recommend CREA to continue doing this, especially with sex worker organisations.”

—Participant, FLMBaRI 2011

 

“The training was really good. It has opened up my mind, especially about feminist movement. It is my challenge to go home and work with my women...I will do my best to follow the whole procedure as we did in our exercise.”

—Soffia, Tanzania

 

“The Institute has been very encouraging and I felt very, very empowered. When I came here, I thought that I was a real feminist. But, [at the Institute] I realised that I was missing something. So, I am glad because the gap has been filled in for me.”

—Participant, FLMBaRI 2011

 

“The training is also different because it has brought different groups together, that is women with diverse experiences, and still allowed the diversity to act as a positive/strength…I learnt a lot about the history and how the current systems that we have been socialised affects my attitude towards many things…The guest speakers were truely not just experts in their fields, but also had genuine interest in the progression of women.”

— Rhoda Awino

 

Disability, Sexuality, and Rights Online Institute

“The course made me see how mental health issues were not on my radar at all. This course and some of the interactions with other participants made me realise how important it is to consider this while talking about disability. The course gave me more impetus to work in this field, both from a women’s rights point of view, as well as from the disability perspective. I feel my learning curve took a great leap. This has helped me in my continuing work with non-hearing women, and inspired me to take it to the next level.”

—Nandini Rao, Participant, DSROI 2011

 

“Thankfully, since CREA sponsored the course for me, for the little I could not pay, I could invest that money into the phone calls I made in the role of a peer-support to other women, or even men, who have mental health concerns...Most of us can only discuss our sexuality with those who are as crazy as us or are highly sensitive and trustworthy to not use it against us...The course made me realise how much work I still need to be alive for to do! There is no doubt that people living with mental illness do have high energy levels, which gets expressed through an uncomfortable behaviour to others. But, not everyone has the same expressive skills to tell the other what truly are their worries...the course allowed me to relate the different types of sexual issues, compare them with other people living with mental illness (PLMIs), and tell them that I know 'normal' people who have the same thoughts and ideas. It is not your symptom. The re-assurance does save a lot of distress. They would then ask, could you put me in touch with them or send me the reading material? Would they mind if I ask them all these questions? For a 'crazy person' to reach out this way...is the most comforting hope for me, as they are willing to share and ask others and find their own ways, provided they have the support, trust and constant re-assurances that what they feel is not part of their symptoms.”

—Reshma Val, Participant, DSROI 2011

 

“I have always worked in the areas of sexual and reproductive health and rights of women. Unfortunately, a lot of us never really consider that people living with disability have reproductive and sexual right, much less protecting the right. This course opened my eyes to a whole new world of people with disability, and influenced my thinking that beyond gender, disability must necessarily become an issue for consideration in human rights jurisprudence.”

—Uju Okeke, Participant, DSROI 2011

 

“This course has given me a lot of information on issues of sexuality in people with disability. Before this course, I had no idea of sexuality regarding people with disability, since here, in Malawi, people with disability have no chance of getting to know more about sexuality, as they say that people with disability do not practice sexuality. I was comfortable to talk more about sex and disability because this is where I gained a lot of experiences and there was a lot of commitment. I am also happy for learning more about sexual rights in people with disabilities.”

—Participant, DSROI

 

Ibtida

“I saw the biggest changes in myself after the training on communalism. Before the training, I would hardly ever talk about the way we did things at home—what we cooked, the food we ate, what we celebrated, nothing. Others in the office would talk about things that were happening at home. But somehow, as a Muslim, I could never talk about it even to my closest colleagues. After that training, even the smallest occasion at home became important to share. I would talk about every occasion that we celebrated at home, about the food we cooked—no longer restricted to Eid and Ramzan. I believe that if I shared with others, then others would also talk about themselves...I no longer feel shy or unequal because I am a Muslim.”

—Sarvari, Prerna Bharati, Jharkhand

 

“In our society, a woman who expresses desire, especially for sex is viewed with great suspicion. Most often, women submit to sex with their partners even though they may have no desire and because they do not think they expression of their own wishes in this matter would be considered ‘right’. The workshop opened our eyes to the world of sexuality, of sexual desire and preferences, of expressing own desires; about love and romance.”

—Kalpana Khare, CREA staff member, then associated with Gramonnati Sansthan, Uttar Pradesh; and Shahnaj, Action India, New Delhi

 

“It was at the World Social Forum 2003 [participation facilitated by CREA] that I realised that violence against women or the negative impact of globalisation is a worldwide phenomenon. Violations exist whether the women live in Burundi or Colombia or India. It was amazing to meet with so many people and learn so much.”

—Reshma, Sangatin, Uttar Pradesh

 

“Though largely staffed by women, Prerna Bharti has its share of male workers. Breaking patterns of behaviour developed through socialisation and education has not been easy. The training we attended was in 2003 and now, in 2008, we can see some change—things like women learning to drive; men making tea in the office; and cooking duties in the mess being shared by a man and a woman. Earlier, male colleagues would hesitate to talk about women’s issues or would prefer not to be present at women’s meetings. Similarly, women would not talk in front of the men about their problems. Now, that has changed. There is less awkwardness, and both men and women are present during women’s meetings. In the same way, we have brought some changes in the schools we are associated with. We speak to the teacher and ensure that roles are not fixed—that if one time, the girls do the task of cleaning the floor, the boys do it the next time. We are constantly looking for creating opportunities for girls to do the non-traditional, the unexpected, for example, learning to use the camera and then take pictures of newlyweds for marriage registration purposes; learning to repair some electrical appliances; and using laptops.”

—Kiran and Sarvari, Prerna Bharti, Jharkhand

 

“I have learnt a lot on women's health rights and use of medicines; sexuality- and gender-based violence; the ways to strategise in the fight against violence against women, as a result of discrimination; and women’s empowerment by giving them information on human rights and other issues through self-help groups, and the ways to involve them and increase access to health.”

—2010 Institute participant from Ibtida network

 

“I had some information on sexuality issues. But, after attending this Institute, there is more clarity on the issues. I work on HIV/AIDS issues and have never made links between sexuality and HIV/AIDS before. After attending this training on sexuality and gender, I can make a connection between different issues like gender, sex, and law and my work. This will help me to deliver my services in a better way in the society”.

 —Ibtida member Lifeline Service Society, Madhya Pradesh

 

“My hesitation broke during these trainings [the two Ibtida trainings that she attended]. We used to engage in sex, but did not even know the name of what we were doing! Now, I am able to tell my husband when I am not in the mood [for sex]. And, if he is not in the mood, then I have to get him to come around! I am now able to share everything with my colleagues (alluding to her relationship with her husband). We reach out to each other whenever we need help. Earlier, if there was any tension with the husband at home, we would hide these matters and feel that this ‘family matter’ cannot be discussed at office. But now, that is not so.”

—Rekha, teacher in the crèche supported by Akanksha Seva Sadan, Muzzafarpur, Bihar

 

“Our biases have also reduced. Earlier, we would feel that if there is a case of domestic violence, the woman is at fault; she must have done something wrong. Although this was not explicit, it was there in the back of our minds. But now, we do not think that way. We have understood how and why violence against women happens. We are now able to take decisions. For example, after I travelled alone from here to Delhi (for an Ibtida training), I felt changed somehow…Also, earlier, we used to be scared of Hijras. There is a child in our crèche who is probably a Hijra. We have become very conscious about integrating this child into the crèche and not discriminating against him. Earlier, we used to be scared of Hijras and felt it was a kind of curse people are born with. Now, we do not feel that way. They have their own identity, and thinking lowly of them causes violence. The same thing happens with women...”

—Staff members, Akanksha Seva Sadan, Muzzafarpur, Bihar

 

“…Sometimes, dowry is mentioned in passing, in the form of a joke, by men and elders in the family, say when they joke with a daughter-in-law about what she has brought with her from her home. And, over time, these kinds of comments can lead to harassment over dowry. We were not sensitive to these apparent joking and also participated in it. Many times, in our field area, we found that domestic violence and fights suddenly become more acute with women over 40 years. We used to immediately deal with the issue and resolve it, often make a compromise. But, we could not understand the reason behind this. It is only when we became sensitive to the issue of sexuality [after the Ibtida trainings] that we realised that women go through many bodily changes during this phase and do not feel interested in sex any more. This is when what men would share (about the their wives’ disinterest in having sex) and what the information from CREA trainings started to come together. So, we spoke to the husbands and explained about bodily changes during menopause.”

—Meera Singh, Head of Mahila Mandal, Itkori, Jharkhand

 

Feminist Leadership, Movement Building, and Rights Institute—South Asia

“My major lesson, which I will take back, is that it is possible to implement programmes on human rights…and gender even in a rural setting. I was of the opinion that it just cannot be done with rural, poor, marginalised people, who had other primary concerns.”

—SAMBHRI 2010 participant

 

Sexual Rights Initiative

“I would like to inform you all that I have been involved in a panel discussion in ‘National Consultation with The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation with Human Right Defenders’. Moreover, I have met with UN Special Rapporteur Margarete Sekkagya along with my other LGBT friends. We shared our issues with her and she assured us…that she would speak about our issues with our government. It is my great opportunity for me to meet with her. It is my continuation of my follow up work after training in Geneva. Again, I would like to thank CREA, as the training has enhanced my capacity before meeting with UN Special Rapporteur.”

—Manisha Dhakal, Blue Diamond Society, Nepal