Malawi women empower themselves and others to expand access to HIV treatment

In Malawi, where an estimated 1 million people are living with HIV/AIDS, women living with HIV launched a campaign to build women’s leadership and organising capacity to advocate for access to safe and effective medicines and tackle stigma and discrimination, among other issues. The Our Bodies, Our Lives (OBOL) campaign – an 8,000 women-strong initiative […]

Movements for sex workers’ rights unite to halt an Anti-trafficking Bill in India

Movements for sex workers' rights to hold an anti-trafficking bill in Bangalore, India

As a result of persistent and skilled advocacy by self-led sex worker networks supported by CMI!, an Anti-Trafficking Bill in India was halted in 2018. This bill conflated trafficking with sex work, which would have increased stigma, discrimination and violence against sex workers, reduced their autonomy and agency, and threatened their human rights. The attempt […]

Formerly incarcerated women advocating for economic rights in Kenya

ELWOFOD the women's rights group in Kenya supporting formally incarcerated women. Text on the banner: Give Women Economic Skills NOT Prison!!!

Women, trans people, and sex workers are often unjustly criminalised for who they are and their work. And even after they are out of prison, the stigma and exclusion persist. An organisation established by two women ex-detainees is working to improve the lives of formerly incarcerated women in Kenya. Like many countries in the world, […]

Stepping Up, Together: Ugandan sex workers mobilising for justice 

UNESO group photo. They are a grantee partner of Red Umbrella Fund in 2021

Across the globe, wherever sex work is criminalised, sex workers live in the shadow of violence and stigma, without access to fundamental human rights and justice. Such an ecosystem makes it quite challenging for them to even organise among themselves. This has been the case in Uganda where selling sex is a criminal offence.  To […]

INTERSECTING REALITIES: Confronting caste oppression of trans persons in India

Grace Banu and other activists from Trans Rights Now Collective, a partner of CREA in India, meeting a member of Parliament with their demands.

In India, trans and gender diverse persons face prejudice, violence, and social exclusion. As a result, some turn to begging and sex work, forms of survival that face criminal and societal sanctions. Despite the diverse tapestry of social identities in India, trans people are often seen only through the solitary lens of their gender. What […]

Stronger Together: Sex workers build solidarity and common ground in Malawi

Rally organised by JASS in Malawi

When Penelope and 34 fellow sex workers came together in a process facilitated by JASS as part of the Count Me In! Consortium, something powerful happened: a shared realisation that the power to change their shared problems lies in actively solving them together. As Penelope shared in her words, “We decided to find solutions to […]

DRUMBEATS OF RESISTANCE: Students and human rights defenders aid democracy in Zimbabwe


Starting early 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic let out its full fury, Zimbabwe was reeling under poverty, unemployment, discrimination and violence against structurally excluded women, a weak healthcare system, and so on. When students and women human rights defenders demanded that the state took its responsibilities toward its citizens seriously, the state responded with violence. That […]

VIVA LA HUMAN RIGHTS: Women hold the torch in Uganda

Among the many positive contradictions of human life is that where there is oppression, there is resistance. In Uganda, for example, a range of human rights violations birthed a community of women human rights defenders who have taken a stance against the injustices they face.  Active in the remote regions of Uganda, these women have been […]