March 12-18, 2007

The Institute for Rights, Activism and Development (IRAD) is an annual weeklong residential training program designed by Creating Resources for Empowerment in Action (CREA). The Fourth Institute is designed for women working in the development sector in South Asia to examine the human rights system and its approaches. The Institute focuses on the links between theory and practice, with an emphasis on social movements, development practices and the application of rights, in the South Asian context. 

Course Content
The course content of the Institute includes: rights and history of global activism, rights in the context of South Asia, the intersections of rights, gender and health, Dalit rights, rights and sexuality, HIV/AIDS, as well as tools for rights, activism and development. The medium of instruction and discussion is English. The 2007 IRAD faculty comprises a range of professionals from different fields and includes: Sunila Abeysekera, Radhika Chandiramani, Manisha Gupte, Sahba Husain, Jac sm Kee, Joanna Kerr, Joy Liddicoat, Martin Macwan, Pramada Menon, Geetanjali Misra, and Meena Seshu. They will use a mix of teaching methods such as lectures, discussions, readings, case studies, films, and group exercises. 

The course content includes:
• Rights and the history of global activism
• Rights in the context of South Asia
• The intersections of rights, gender and health 
• Dalit rights
• Rights and sexuality
• HIV/AIDS and rights issues
• Tools for rights, activism and development

Creating Resources for Empowerment in Action (CREA) is a non-profit organisation based in New Delhi, India. CREA empowers women to articulate, demand and access their human rights by enhancing women’s leadership and focusing on issues of sexuality, sexual and reproductive rights, violence against women and women’s rights. 

Women who are development practitioners working in South Asia committed to learning about the human rights systems and their implications are eligible to apply. Twenty-five participants will be selected. Selected participants will be expected to stay for the whole duration of the course. 
Costs and Venue
The Institute for Rights, Activism and Development will be held at the Tata Management Training Centre (TMTC) in Pune, India. Tuition, boarding and lodging costs will be covered for all participants. Participants are expected to contribute INR 2500 towards the course and cover their own travel expenses. The Institute is supported by the Ford Foundation. 

Core Faculty

Sunila Abeysekera is Executive Director of INFORM, a human rights documentation center based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. In recognition of her human rights activism, she was awarded the United Nations Human Rights Prize in 1998. 

Joy Liddicoat is a human rights lawyer and Commissioner with the New Zealand Human Rights Commission. Her work at the Commission has involved general governance responsibilities, development of the New Zealand Action Plan for Human Rights and work on issues of discrimination, harassment, violence, and women's human rights.

Pramada Menon is Co-Founder and Director Programs, CREA, a women’s human rights organization working on issues of sexuality, violence against women, and, social justice. She has worked for over two decades on gender, sexuality and human rights as an activist and trainer nationally and internationally. Pramada has worked extensively with community based organizations and coalitions to advance sexual rights in India. She is on the Advisory Council of The Global Fund for Women.

Geetanjali Misra is a co-Founder and Executive Director of CREA. She has worked at the activist, grant making and policy levels on issues of sexuality, reproductive health, gender, human rights and violence against women. She is a co-Founder of Sakhi, is on the Board of Directors of Reproductive Health Matters, President of the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), and recently co-edited Sexuality, Gender and Rights: Exploring Theory and Practice in South and South East Asia (2005).


Radhika Chandiramani is the Executive Director of TARSHI, the South and Southeast Asia Resource Centre on Sexuality, and the co-Director of The Sexuality and Rights Institute in India. She is a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship for Leadership Development and the Soros Reproductive Health and Rights Fellowship. She has co-edited with Geetanjali Misra Sexuality, Gender and Rights: Exploring Theory and Practice in South and Southeast Asia (Sage, 2005).

Manisha Gupte is Co-Convenor of MASUM in Pune. She is an activist and a researcher in the fields of women’s health, violence against women and sexuality. She has been active in the Indian women’s movement for the past two decades.

Sahba Husain is a researcher on gender issues and an activist in the women’s movement. In the last six years she has worked closely with people affected by violence, including women and children in Kashmir, focusing on the human dimension of conflict. She is currently working with Aman Trust, Delhi.

Jac sm Kee is the editor for genderIT.org, a portal on gender and ICT policy matters by the Association of Progressive Communications, Women’s Networking Support Programme. She is also co-founder of Knowledge & Rights with Young People through Safer Spaces (KRYSS), working with young people on the issue of rights through creative platforms. 

Joanna Kerr was the Executive Director of the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) from 2000 until 2006. She is on the editorial board of Oxfam’s Gender and Development, the Chair of the Board of Gender at Work Collaborative. Joanna’s publications include: The Future of Women’s Rights: Global Visions and Strategies (2004) and Demanding Dignity: Women Confronting Economic Reforms in Africa (2001). 

Martin Macwan is Founder of Navsarjan Trust, a Gujarat based group organizing Dalits in 2,000 villages to fight the practice of “untouchability.” He has been elected as the National Convenor of the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights.

Meena Seshu is the general secretary of SANGRAM, an organization that works to enable sex workers and people living with HIV and AIDS to defend and assert their rights. SANGRAM's Centre for Advocacy on Stigma and Marginalisation (CASAM) advocates for the reduction of stigma, violence and harassment of marginalized communities. In 2002, Meena was awarded the Human Rights Defender Award from Human Rights Watch in recognition of her outstanding work.