20 Years
Kayan was founded in 1998 by Arab feminist women with the goal of advancing the status of Arab women in Israel and protecting their rights.


Sustainable and lasting change from the grassroots


Kayan takes a bottom-up approach to social change. We invest in the field by empowering women to become transformative leaders on local and national levels, protecting and promoting the human and civil rights of Palestinian women in Israel, and breaking down the social and institutional barriers to gender equality. We do this through two interconnected programs: the Community Program and the Legal Program.

Kayan’s Community Work mobilizes women to challenge gender discrimination at the levels of family, community and society, and to actively participate in public life and decision-making processes through long-term investments in the development of Arab women’s leadership at the grassroots. Support of women-led community organizing in Arab villages has emerged as a cornerstone of Kayan’s work; a tool that empowers women to overcome imbalances and to improve their lives in tangible ways. We strengthen civil society institution building among Palestinian women with intensive empowerment and leadership training, ongoing professional development support, and access to frameworks for inter-organizational networking and collaboration. Kayan currently has community projects that address violence against women, gender-sensitive budgeting, women’s health, land and housing rights, the rights of return, and women in local politics.

Kayan’s Legal Work serves Palestinian women in Israel through investigating institutionalized barriers to women’s rights; empowering Arab women as informed decision makers able to demand their rights; litigating in defense of women’s human and civil rights; and advocating for social, political, economic, and legal reforms that advance Palestinian women’s status and rights. Legal work activities include providing free legal consultation and representation to Palestinian women in Israel, initiating advocacy campaigns that target key political and religious institutions, informing grassroots women of their legal rights, supporting local feminist initiatives with legal tools, educating employers and duty-bearers of their legal obligations as related to Palestinian women’s rights, and enforcing the realization of Palestinian women’s rights in specific institutions and throughout the society at large