Kayan is an association of Arab women with diverse backgrounds, affiliations and experiences, but who share the aim of increasing the influence and power of all Arab women in Israel. Driven by feminist ideals of equality and empowerment, Kayan gives expression to the compelling voices of Arab women who are systematically excluded from the public arena. Through our unique programs, we offer women new ways to view themselves and their society.
Durable approaches to the realization of the social, economic and civil rights of Palestinian-Arab women require an essential recognition of the interconnectedness of myriad factors. Sustainable solutions must address social – as well as political – impediments to development. Support of grassroots community organizing in Arab villages is a key element of Kayan’s work, a tool that empowers women to overcome imbalances and improve their own lives in tangible ways. Our experience has shown that the journey toward self-realization begins within the individual, spreads as cooperative action across a community of women, ushers new leaders into the halls of influence and fundamentally redefines the role of women in society. At each stage, Kayan provides the infrastructure, know-how and support to bring these visions to fruition.
Kayan’s Department of Community Work empowers women to set their own agenda of self-actualization and participate actively in decision-making processes through long-term investments in the development of Arab women’s leadership at the grassroots. We strengthen civil society institution building among Palestinian women with: human, technical and financial resources; ongoing professional development support; and access to frameworks for inter-organizational networking and collaboration.
Kayan’s Legal Department works to promote and defend the social, economic, and civil rights of Arab women throughout Israel. Through a series of lectures, seminars and publications, Kayan’s legal team informs Palestinian women in Israel about their rights as citizens to social security, fair employment, personal status equality and active participation in legal proceedings as victims of crime. We also provide free legal consultation and representation to Arab women in need, advocating on their behalf vis-à-vis the courts, local authorities and national government.