On August 24th, Alhan Nahhas-Daoud from Kayan’s Legal Department gave a lecture to 15 participants at the Al-Tufula Center in Nazareth, which works in early childhood care and development and women empowerment. Nahhas-Daoud spoke to the women about minimum wage and vacation rights as employees as part of a training session organized by Al-Tufula Center.
On August 25th, Nahhas-Daoud gave a lecture in Bethlehem at the Sabeel Organization, an ecumenical grassroots organization which strives to empower the Palestinian community as a whole in order to work for peace in Israel. Nahhas-Daoud spoke as part of a panel to an audience of 200 people about the legal processes and the status of Palestinian women in the religious courts regarding familial issues.
On October 14th, Nahhas-Daoud spoke to members of staff and volunteers of Al-Siwar Association in Haifa about the current sexual harassment laws. The lecture discussed the details of the current laws, the development of the law by the courts, the different processes that victims of sexual harassment can initiate, employer duties, and punishments.
On October 24th, Nahhas-Daoud participated in a panel at the Israel Bar Association in Haifa on “The Responsibility of the Employer in Sexual Harassment.” She spoke to an audience of 30, most of whom were lawyers, on employer duties to prevent and handle sexual harassment crimes in the workplace. Nahhas-Daoud’s lecture focused specifically on how this issue affects Arab women. In the case of Arab women, most are working within their villages which poses a unique problem in terms of sexual harassment in the workplace. Due to the small and traditional nature of the communities, it is not uncommon for the women to have close or familial relations with their employers. Because of this, many victims feel ashamed and may worry about judgment from the community and family. Additionally, the poor socio-economic situation in many villages means that women often feel the need to keep working even if being exposed to sexual harassment. As a result, many women who have been victim to sexual harassment continue working in silence. The legal regulations on this issue state that there should be a woman in the workplace trained and in charge of sexual harassment prevention in order to provide support for the women; however, this is rarely the case. Kayan’s legal department hopes to increase awareness about these regulations in order to put pressure on employers to address this issue.
On October 25th, Shirin Batshon-Khoury, Kayan’s Legal Department Coordinator, spoke at Tel Aviv University as part of a panel on “Public and Social Lawyering.” The purpose of the panel, which was part of a conference for law students, was to showcase successful lawyers in the public sector and to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of working as a public lawyer. In addition to Batshon-Khoury, there were three speakers: former Attorney General of Israel, Meni Mazuz; Tziona Koenig, Chief Commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission; and Eliad Shraga, founder of The Movement for Quality Government in Israel and Eliad Shraga & Co. Law Offices. All the participants spoke about their personal experiences working in the public sector and why they chose to practice law in the public sector as opposed to the private sector. Batshon-Khoury spoke about the importance of the services that she provides in the public sector to those with limited access to resources. She believes that being a lawyer comes with social responsibility and that it is extremely important to work towards social change through law and the legal system.
On October 26th, Nahhas-Daoud gave a lecture to one of Kayan’s women empowerment groups in Nahef on sexual harassment and family violence. The lecture explained the law against family violence and the process of appealing for a protection warrant if exposed to violence at home, or if there is a high risk of being exposed. The lecture explained the difference between this process and the criminal process. The victim herself can go directly to a court and ask for a warrant against an aggressor. This is seen as a temporary option if a woman is in need of immediate protection until the criminal process gets underway.