|Empowering Women to help each other|
Ghadir Hani had heard enough complaints about exploitative and discriminatory working conditions from friends and neighbors in the Negev Bedouin town of Hura. She decided it was time to do something about the fact that some women worked 10-hour days in the fields, were paid half the minimum wage, received no salary slips, insurance or protective gear. Or that preschool assistants were fired from their municipal jobs and now worked as contractors with no benefits. Together with three other graduates of SHATIL's Bedouin Women's Rights and Leadership course, Hani initiated a project to teach Negev Bedouin women about their employment rights.
Using what they learned in the course and with SHATIL’s guidance in developing a vision and implementing a work plan, the group has so far run four workshops teaching Bedouin women about their employment rights.
"It was important for me to do this, especially with so many uneducated women entering the work force," said Hani, who works as a project coordinator for the Negev Institute for Strategies of Peace -Ajeec. The group also wrote an Arabic-language brochure about the rights of working women, with help from Ma'an, the Forum of Bedouin Women's Organizations in the Negev, which printed and is distributing the booklet.
"I tell SHATIL to let me know every time they open a new course," said Hani. "I want to take advantage of all of them. I have learned so much from SHATIL – how to overcome barriers and limitations, initiate and run collaborations, manage in a more participatory way, and so much more. I am now putting this component of employment rights in every program I develop at Ajeec. It is so important for women starting a job to know their rights. We can go far with this."