Oct 14, 2020

Lifting up Palestinian women during COVID-19

Graphic advertisement of our support hotline
Graphic advertisement of our support hotline

Dear Friends,

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge us all, we continue to appreciate your support during these difficult times, which have disproportionately affected the lives of Palestinian women.

Our support hotline continues to provide crucial support to Arab Palestinian women, who are very much in need of empowerment and holistic support due to the uncertainty and challenges faced by Arab society, and particularly Arab women, during these times of crisis. As you may recall, Kayan has expanded our support hotline to respond to increased need, offering around-the-clock service as well as opening a texting line to provide a safer and more flexible option for women.We have received very positive feedback about adding the texting line, which has helped us to reach more women who might otherwise have been silenced due to fear of being overheard. These changes have helped us to reach 40% more women than before.

We have concentrated on advertising our hotline expansion through creative outlets such as graphic designs, magnets, and a video, as well as alongside our partners’ services through the Fada Coalition’s “We are you Voice” Campaign. Grassroots women leaders of the local groups and the Jusur Forum have also been critical in sharing the hotline and raising awareness about ways to reach help, integrating this into every aspect of their COVID-19 response.Our staff are working intensively to keep up with the increased volume of hotline calls and to follow up with each consultee to ensure that she receivesongoing comprehensive and holistic support. We are also currently working on training more hotline volunteers to keep up with demand. 

Calls during the COVID-19 crisis have covered an expanded variety of needs, including economic, personal status, workplace rights, or safety at home issues. Regardless of the specific elements of the call, most consultations address some elements related to violence. We work to ensure that women thoroughly understand their legal rights and options, for example helping them to get protective and restraining orders. These concrete steps go a long way in protecting women’s safety.

Just as important as the legal advice is the emotional support and empowerment our hotline provides. We ensure that women fully understand all their options and feel empowered to make the decision that is best for them. By providing emotional support and continuously following up, we help womengain the confidence and self-assuredness to speak out. During the COVID-19 crisis, we have helped 70% of our consultees to take follow up action of some type.

Supporters, like you, help ensure we can keep our support hotline available around-the-clock to women during this time of extreme need. We hope you are staying well and safe during this crisis. Thank you for helping Palestinian women to be safe, empower themselves, and take action to claim their rights.

Links:

Aug 18, 2020

Women lead in responding to the Covid-19 crisis

Kayan and grassroots women leaders are taking the lead in responding to the everyday dangers and challenges which face Arab Palestinian women, especially following from the Covid-19 crisis.

Because of Kayan and women leaders’ long-term, deeply-rooted engagement in local communities, we were able to work quickly to identify community members’ needs that came out of the economic crisis and movement restrictions caused by Covid-19. Grassroots women leaders observed that, firstly, domestic violence had become a rapidly growing threat and, secondly, that women are particularly vulnerable to the economic challenges, especially domestic workers and single mothers.

In order to respond to respond to the increase in incidences of domestic violence, Kayan has expanded our support hotline. During the Covid-19 crisis period, we have seen an increase in need with 40% more women reaching our hotline. We have expanded our hotline to offer around-the-clock service as well as a texting service. This allows women who may not have a safe space to speak, due to confinement in their homes, to still be able reach support and assistance.

Grassroots leaders have also been raising their voices to speak out against the rise in violence and have been working to build trust and relationships with community members. Creating these bonds helps women in their communities know that they have support in breaking social norms by speaking out against violence and about the resources they can access. More than 300 women have reached out to Kayan’s local groups requesting support of various types. Kayan is also doing intensive work in the media and on social media to make sure that society cannot ignore the crisis of domestic violence.

In response to the economic issues that Palestinian women are facing, Kayan is both working with grassroots leaders to provide an on-the ground response, specifically working with women grassroots activists and leaders to provide for basic economic needs in 10 localities. Kayan’s local women's groups have also been working both independently and in partnerships with local councils to distribute critical goods to more than 540 women and their families, including vulnerable populations, such as single mothers, domestic workers, and the elderly. Grassroots leaders are also integrating their anti-violence work into the economic response by taking the opportunity of delivering packages of goods for basic needs to engage community members about their right to safety and relevant resources.

Kayan also took action to make sure that Palestinian women have access to other critical information to keep themselves and their families safe. As there is a lack of information on relevant topics from public health information directly related to the public health crisis to information about economic assistance to information about protection from domestic violence, Kayan worked with partners to ensure that information is not only available but accessible and translated into Arabic. Kayan is also using our hotline to assist women in gaining information on, for example, how to claim unemployment benefits and access other institutional support.

Finally, collaboration has been key to our efforts in addressing this crisis. Kayan has also initiated the first coalition of Palestinian feminist organizations across borders to stand against surging domestic violence. The groundbreakng coalition, Fada—Palestinian Women against Violence, is comprised of 22 feminist organizations. We held an intensive, three-week campaign entitled, “We are your Voice” in June to say to women and society that we will not be silent in the face of violence. The campaign reached well over 1 million Palestinians with our critical message and is working to continue standing against violence.

While this is a challenging time for everyone, women’s needs cannot be forgotten. We commit to only building our sustained, grassroots work throughout times crisis. We are grateful for you, as a partner in supporting this challenging and important work.

Please keep following our emails for more information about our inspiring grassroots work and how to support it. We will be in touch again in September with information about an exciting opportunity from GlobalGiving to amplify the impact of your support on Kayan’s work.

Jun 15, 2020

Women lead in addressing violence during Covid-19

Grassroots women prepare packages of basic goods
Grassroots women prepare packages of basic goods

Kayan and grassroots women leaders are taking the lead in responding to the everyday dangers and challenges which face Arab Palestinian women, especially following from the Covid-19 crisis.

Because of Kayan and women leaders’ long-term, deeply-rooted engagement in local communities, we were able to work quickly to identify community members’ needs that came out of the economic crisis and movement restrictions caused by Covid-19. Grassroots women leaders observed that, firstly, domestic violence had become a rapidly growing threat and, secondly, that women are particularly vulnerable to the economic challenges, especially domestic workers and single mothers.

In order to respond to respond to the increase in incidences of domestic violence, Kayan has expanded our support hotline. During the Covid-19 crisis period, we have seen an increase in need with 40% more women reaching our hotline. We have expanded our hotline to offer around-the-clock service as well as a texting service. This allows women who may not have a safe space to speak, due to confinement in their homes, to still be able reach support and assistance.

Grassroots leaders have also been raising their voices to speak out against the rise in violence and have been working to build trust and relationships with community members. Creating these bonds helps women in their communities know that they have support in breaking social norms by speaking out against violence and about the resources they can access. Kayan is also doing intensive work in the media and on social media to make sure that society cannot ignore the crisis of domestic violence.

In response to the economic issues that Palestinian women are facing, Kayan is both working with grassroots leaders to provide an on-the ground response, specifically working with women grassroots activists and leaders to provide for basic economic needs in 10 localities. Kayan’s local women's groups have also been working both independently and in partnerships with local councils to distribute critical goods to more than 300 women and their families including vulnerable populations, such as single mothers, domestic workers, and the elderly. Grassroots leaders are also integrating their anti-violence work into the economic response by taking the opportunity of delivering packages of goods for basic needs to engage community members about their right to safety and relevant resources.

Kayan is taking action to make sure that Palestinian women have access to other critical information to keep themselves and their families safe. As there is a lack of information on relevant topics from public health information directly related to the public health crisis to information about economic assistance to information about protection from domestic violence, Kayan has been working with partners to ensure that information is not only available but accessible and translated into Arabic. Kayan is also using our hotline to assist women in gaining information on, for example, how to claim unemployment benefits and access other institutional support.

While this is a challenging time for everyone, women’s needs cannot be forgotten. We commit to only building our sustained, grassroots work throughout times crisis. We are grateful for you, as a partner in supporting this challenging and important work.

Links:

 
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