Welcome to the Palestinian American Women Association of Southern California (PAWA).

We are pleased you have reached our pages and are delighted to share with you information about our association.

The Palestinian America Women Association for Southern California (PAWA) is a not for profit, community-based organization working to enable Arab American Women to be productive, contributing members of society by promoting self-esteem, self-confidence, leadership development, personal and social growth for Arab American Women.

Furthermore, we advocate for freedom, equality and justice.


The Palestinian American Women's Association (PAWA) of Southern California is a non-for-profit, 501(c)(3) community based organization working to educate, support and empower the lives of Arab American women.

PAWA focuses its programing on projects that support women as productive members of society by promoting self-care, leadership skills, personal and social growth, and confidence. PAWA works to educate women and men about women's empowerment, sustainability and emancipation.

PAWA is committed to such goals as a way to enhance the quality of life, development and positivity of our communities. Part of our programming includes: educational and cultural programs, connecting our community with social services, and establishing and enhancing bonds with other community based organizations whose goals we share.

In addition, PAWA is committed to enhancing the lives of women and children both domestically and internationally. Our projects, programming and support operate both in our local community of Southern California as well as in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, 1948 Palestine and Palestinian refugee camps.

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Rachel Corrie Scholarship Program (RCS)

Each year, PAWA solicits exceptional student-activists from across the United States to take part in a three-month intensive summer program at the prestigious Birzeit University's International Summer Program. Past recipients of the award have demonstrated not only academic excellence but also a strong commitment to student activism and social justice. The recipient is sent to study at Birzeit and the scholarship covers the cost of their travel, tuition and accommodation.

Palestine Sustainability Initiative

PAWA is committed to supporting the sustainability of Palestinian women's cooperatives, Palestinian farmers and hand-crafters. As a result, we purchase olive oil, ceramics, textiles and jewelry directly from Palestinian makers to support their lives and economies.

Educational Series Program

PAWA's educational series program allows our organization to bring various topics of interest to our community. Presented by experts knowledgeable on the topics/issues discussed, these are community conversations that bring us together to learn on topics ranging from Palestinian history and culture to mental health and local social issues such as domestic violence and divorce.

Example educational series include:

The Ethnic Cleansing of Jaffa: Mr. Ahmad Sakkijha and Dr. Said Shehadeh drew on personal experiences to share the history and present ethnic cleansing of Jaffa.

Fighting Depression in Palestine: Dr. Mohammad Herzallah of the Palestinian Neuroscience Initiative and Neuroscientist at Rutgers University, joined us to discuss the realities of depression and mental health concerns in Palestine.

Film Screenings: As part of our ongoing efforts to bring multiple perspectives on the realities of life in Palestine, we screen films. At such screenings, depending on the availability of the creators, we invite the filmmaker(s) and/or director(s) to discuss their work with our community.

To suggest an educational series or to volunteer your time to present on your area of expertise, please contact us at info@pawasca.org

International Scholarship Program for University Women

PAWA's international scholarship program is one of our most significant projects and where a majority of our funding is allocated. PAWA supports the four-year education of outstanding young women attending Palestinian universities throughout the West Bank, Gaza Strip and we recently added young women in the refugee camps of Lebanon.

A merit and income based scholarship program, the international scholarship program seeks to support the academic, personal and professional goals of Palestinian young women. Considering the circumstances of life, education is a way through which young Palestinian women can be empowered and self-sustaining, while also helping their loved ones and families. Since its inception, the scholarship program has funded over a hundred students of four-year degrees, ranging in disciplinary degrees from chemistry and biology to English literature and business.
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