Community Update

Digital Empowerment Toolkit Now Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits aim to provide the resources you need to advance your social change work.

We are excited to introduce our Digital Empowerment Trainers’ Toolkit, a dynamic resource to help you bring the benefits of connecting online to women in your community. Check it out today! »

Online Course: Disability,Sexuality,&Rights

Event Date: 
October 17, 2011 (All day) - December 17, 2011 (All day)

The Disability, Sexuality, and Rights Online Institute provides a study of theory and practice for disabled and non-disabled people working in areas such as development, health, sexuality, media, and rights. The aim is to create awareness about the intersection of disability and sexuality, and build a political perspective on disabled people’s sexual rights. Deadline for applications: September 17, 2011.

Participants develop their ability to work in inclusive and holistic ways that further health and social justice. CREA coordinated the first Disability, Sexuality, and Rights Online Institute in 2010.

Applications are due by September 15, 2011

To apply online, click here. If you experience difficulty with the online method, download the application form from CREA’s website ( and email the completed form to Debika Chatterjee at You may also write to her for any queries.

Why take this course?

Disabled people are often excluded or discriminated against in relation to their sexuality by health, development, and rights organizations because they are not considered to be sexual or they are thought to be sexually vulnerable or uncontrolled .
Disability rights activists and service providers often disregard sexuality issues and rights in favor of issues that are considered more pressing and appropriate like employment and physical access.
People with disabilities are commonly represented as asexual or as perverse in their sexuality. The media often builds ‘freak’ stories about their sexual lives.
However, sexuality is an important part of the life, identity, society, and culture of all people, including people with disabilities. It can be a source of pleasure and pain, empowerment and oppression.

Key Questions and Content

Why sexual and disability justices matter to us all, with or without disabilities: Evolving theories of sexuality, disability, and human rights
Naming and shaming: Analysing the sexualized power of stigma and discrimination against disabled people
How to put rights into practice, from local to global: UN Conventions, national laws, and community action
‘You’re having sex?!’ Challenge the prejudice that affects adolescence, relationships and sex education for people with disabilities
Ekaete Umoh from Nigeria addresses the barriers and potential in providing reproductive healthcare for women with disabilities
Anita Ghai from India looks at responses to the sexual abuse experienced by disabled people: from denial to action
HIV/AIDS and disability: practitioners discuss their inter-relations and activists’ role in reducing the risk
Embodiment in sexuality and disability: Janet Price looks at attitudes to bodily difference, at prejudice, identity, intersectionality, and at challenging discrimination
What is the role of the media?: Differing representations of disability and sexuality across the globe


CREA empowers women and girls to articulate, demand and access their human rights by enhancing women's leadership, strengthening civil society organizations, influencing social movements and creating networks for social change. A global organization based in India, CREA works to make human rights an effective tool for social change, and to integrate human rights mechanisms, awareness, and principles into the fabric of the society.


The Disability, Sexuality, and Rights Institute is an introductory level course on the intersections of these issues. Independent activists and practitioners in development, sexuality, health, media, and rights NGOs and GOs worldwide are encouraged to apply. Twenty-five participants will be selected based on demonstrated interest in disability and sexuality, and concrete ideas of relevance to their work. Practitioners will be given preference over students, researchers, and academics. Although the course is introductory, the work will be challenging, including reading and discussion of complex theory, which will be discussed and related to real life situations and social change work.


People with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the Institute. The course has been designed and tested to be accessible to disabled people and those with slower Internet connection speed. We will work with participants to modify the course as necessary to meet all needs and ensure full participation.

Costs and Funding

This Institute is made possible by the support of the MDG3 Fund from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Participants are required to pay a USD 50 registration fee to contribute towards course expenses. Fee waiver available on request (please refer to the application form).

Format and Workload

The course will be conducted entirely online in English, with presentations, reading, discussion, research, activities, and a final project. No special technology is required, except a computer that can read Microsoft Word and Power Point documents and has Adobe Reader. Also required is Internet access to download/upload documents and comments for 20 to 30 minutes, 2 to 3 times a week throughout the course. The Institute will not be done in real time, although we will encourage participants in similar time zones to meet online for direct discussion; participants can complete the requirements at their convenience within the time parameters. There will be 2 to 4 readings per week, many will be challenging and theoretical. Course participation will take 6 hours per week on average. Participants are expected to participate in the entire course and complete all assignments. Guided by clear learning objectives, the course will be adapted to the unique interests, experiences, and needs of the participants. The participants will learn from each other’s ideas and experiences through active involvement and sharing.

Resource People

The Institute is designed and taught by an international group of academics and activists in the disability rights field, who specialize in sexual and reproductive rights and health from a global South perspective.

Anita Ghai, Ph.D., is Senior Reader in Psychology, Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi and a disability activist who works in the areas of education, health, sexuality, and gender. Her second book was (Dis)Embodied Form: Issues of Disabled Women (2003). She is on the editorial board of Disability and Society, Disability Studies Quarterly, and Scandinavian Journal of Disability.

Ekaete Judith Umoh is a disability rights advocate, a polio survivor, and Founder and Executive Director of Family Centered Initiative for Challenged Persons (FACICP). FACICP works to mainstream the issues of women with disabilities in gender and development programs. She is Chief Consultant, Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, Nigeria.

Janet Price is a member of the Gender and Health Group and an Honorary Research Fellow at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Working in the UK and India, her focus is feminist/post-modernist approaches to disability, postcolonialism, health, and the body. She is on the Board of DaDa (Disability and Deaf Arts) based in Liverpool, UK. She co-edited Feminist Theory and the Body: A Reader (1999).

Additional input from activists working on HIV/AIDS, media representation, UN conventions and more!

For more information, contact Debika Chatterjee

United States

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

PAKISTAN: They Went to School and Never Came Back

PAKISTAN: They Went to School and Never Came Back

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Blog »

Read the latest from World Pulse headquarters

Announcing Our Prize Winners!

Announcing Our Prize Winners!

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative