Arab Women's Association of Palestine

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a women's organization founded in jerusalem in 1929 after the wailing wall riots.

The Arab Women's Association of Palestine (AWA) was founded in Jerusalem at the first Palestine Arab Women's Congress on 26 October 1929. The impetus for its establishment was the 1929 Western (Wailing) Wall riots and the national mobilization that came in their wake. The goals of the AWA, according to its bylaws, were to "work for the development of the social and economic affairs of the Arab women in Palestine, to endeavor to secure the extension of educational facilities for girls, [and] to use every possible and lawful means to elevate the standing of women" (Mogannam, p. 77). The AWA subsequently formed branches in most of the major cities and towns in Palestine and became the leading organization of the Palestinian women's movement during the mandate period. Its members were particularly active from 1929 to 1939 in demonstrating against the mandate; in providing support for the prisoners and rebels of the 1936 through 1939 revolt; in meeting with, writing memoranda to, and protesting to British government authorities; and in rallying international and regional support for the Palestinian national movement. The organization subsequently split into two: the AWA and the Arab Women's Union, which emerged sometime after the convening of the Eastern Women's Conference on the Palestine problem, in Cairo in 1938. The AWA continued its work as a charitable association in Jerusalem after 1948.

see also arab women's executive committee; palestine; zionism.


Fleischmann, Ellen L. "The Emergence of the Palestinian Women's Movement, 19291939." Journal of Palestine Studies 29, no. 3 (2000): 1632.

Mogannam, Matiel. The Arab Woman and the Palestine Question. London: Herbert Joseph, 1937.

Ellen L. Fleischmann

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Arab Women's Association of Palestine

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