Regional Institute

The Regional Institute (RI) on Sexuality, Society, and Culture was an eight-day conceptual course, as a part of The South and Southeast Asia Resource Centre, that seeked to understand the implications of the various debates on sexuality issues at the time and its links to culture and society in a regional context.

The goals of the Institute were to develop a deeper and more coherent theoretical understanding of sexuality and its connections with other issues, including gender and rights and examine assumptions on which practitioners base their work within a South and Southeast Asian context.

Topics and discussions included:

  • Sexuality and Gender 
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health and Sexuality 
  • Sexuality and Pleasure 
  • Sexuality and Rights 
  • Issues in Sex Work
  • Sexuality and Popular Culture/Representation 

Some of the key messages covered include:

  • Understanding the difference between sexuality and gender 
  • Understanding how culture influences concepts of gender and sexuality and vice versa 
  • Exploring the links between reproductive and sexual health, sexuality, and gender 
  • Understanding what working with a rights perspective means, how it may change over time, and how it affects the work we do on sexuality 
  • Understand issues of sex work as work 
  • Exploring how representation affects attitudes about sexuality 
  • Exploring and affirming the role of pleasure in sexuality 


Participants - Each Institute hosted twenty individuals working on issues of sexuality, gender, and reproductive health from South and Southeast Asia. Participants were selected based on nominations and an application process.

Faculty - Faculty from across the region taught the course, and facilitated discussions and group work. 

They used readings, films, lectures, discussion groups, and case studies from across the region to provide comprehensive and in-depth analysis on sexuality-related issues. The course materials and discussion were in English.

Details are available of past trainings held in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2009.