In Israel, a highly complex legal system comprised of civil and religious traditions, overlapping jurisdictions and characteristic ambiguity leaves marginalized members of society at great disadvantage. Arab women are particularly vulnerable; many cannot read Hebrew, lack access to legal resources, and remain unaware of their rights. Unable to defend and actualize their rights, these women are often forced to accept intolerable conditions of abuse, inequality, and despair.
Kayan's Legal Department for Arab Women's Rights in Israel, established in 2004, helps Arab women in Israel actualize their rights to personal and social status equality, social security, fair employment, protection from sexual harassment in the workplace, equitable treatment within the domain of family law and active participation in legal proceedings as victims of crime. We provide free, timely, and comprehensive legal aid to vulnerable Palestinian women in Israel, offer Arabic-language rights education and promote national-level policy change through strategic advocacy. This mutually-reinforcing approach allows us to address the most pressing needs of women in our community, share the lessons gleaned from their experiences and promote the rights of Arab women in Israel with a unified voice.