Womwen legal Leaders
For the Opportunity Collaboration Fellowship Team,
Attached here with an essay about my work as a group fcilitator in "The Women Legal Leaders & The Legal Feminism Clinic" a joint program of the NGO Itach-Maaki – women lawyers for social justice and The Legal Feminist Clinic in Haifa University.
About Itach-Maaki – women lawyers for social justice
Itach-Maaki – Women Lawyers for Social Justice is a non-profit organization that aims to create social change by using the law to address the needs and rights of women from the social, economic and geographic periphery of Israel. Itach-Maaki is a national organization, with branches in Beersheva, Haifa and Tel Aviv. Our target population includes poor women from marginalized communities in Israel: single mothers, many immigrant women from the FSU and Ethiopia, Palestinian women citizens of Israel, the unemployed, those living on welfare and those existing in the geographic, economic and social periphery of the country.
We provide legal aid, information on rights, leadership training and advocate for broad policy change in order to uphold fundamental rights of marginalized Israeli women.
"The Women Legal Leaders & The Legal Feminism Clinic" Program and Model is a unique cooperation between the Haifa University Faculty of Law and "Itach-Maaki Women Lawyers for Social Justice" (www.itach.org.il) along with other partners in Israeli civil society and the mainstream public. The program Women Legal Leaders and Haifa Legal Feminism Clinic The Program is committed to advancing unity and leadership for social change among Muslim, Druze, Christian, Jewish and non-Jewish women from disenfranchised communities. Through bi-cultural facilitation and an empowerment approach, we equip women and students with the needed legal and social change tools, guidance and peer support to become effective agents of multi-level change on issues they face in their communities. Simultaneously, the program’s cooperation with Haifa University’s Faculty of Law increases the social and feminist awareness of Arab and Jewish law students, both didactically and experientially. The program serves as an incubator for agents of social change and their initiatives (Seed-Projects). In April 2009 The Program has been nominated with the 3rd Award of the McJannet Prize for Global Citizenship (http://www.macjannetprize.org)
The model, co-coordinated by a Jewish attorney and an Arab- group facilitator (myself), equips a multi-cultural group of women activists and law students with effective social change tools and guides them in their quest for long-term social change.
In its past four years of activity the program had impact on many communities and effected the lives of many women through the activity of ten seed projects that were initiated and incubated in the program. The seed projects are bringing the voices of Russian immigrant women in prostitution that are in rehabilitation; Arab women who are victims of murder (known as Honor Crime Killings); Druze-Arab women facing divorce the; Single Arab women over 30; Arab women over 30 that seek to high education; and other issues, addressed by the seed-projects.
I am facilitating the teams, participants and the groups with mass focus on leadership, group leadership, feminist leadership and personal process, where the seed project is the tool for empowerment and not the goal by itself.
During my 9 months of work in this program I started aiming on focusing over leadership rather then projects. Believing that The seed projects are a tool for the promotion of leadership but not a goal in itself. Practically the teams will be trained and guided to use more of the resources of the civil society.