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Awal Women Society
Activities and Programs

1. Women’s illiteracy :

a) AWS was the first civil society institute launching campaigns to combat illiteracy in Muharraque in 1971.
b) AWS members participated in these campaigns in Muharraque as well as some other villages in 1976-1977.
c) Some kindergarten classes were opened in the village of DAIR in 1984-1985. They were also used to teach the illiterate older people.
d) Some enlightenment and edification programmes were organised for women.
e) Supporting talented women to carry on their education up to high school level.

2. Awal Kindergarten :
In 1980, AWS established a kindergarten to take care of the children of the workingwomen in the City of Muharraque. It is the only kindergarten in Muharraque, which belongs to a women’s society.


3. Supporting Women’s Rights :

a) Since its establishment, AWS sought to defend the rights of women in Bahrain. In 1979, AWS succeeded to guarantee the right of the workingwomen to attain maternity leave as well of absence of one hour daily to nurse her child.
b) Launching initiatives for women’s political rights since 1973.
c) Participating in establishment of the Joint Committee of Personal Status in 1983.
d) Establishing a hotline for solving family and social problems of women, in 1995.
e) Establishing a legal support centre in 1998.
f) Holding programmes, workshops and symposiums on enlightenment and edification of women.


4. Development of Naqda Project :

a) Naqda project was launched in 1996 in order to preserve the traditional handicraft of Naqda (using golden threads in weaving and decorating robes and costumes).
b) This project ensured permanent jobs for some women.
c) Some exhibitions were organised in Bahrain and abroad to display and market the products of Naqda project.


5. Microstart loans :

a) Microstart loans project was launched in 1999 with the aid of UNDP and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain.
b) The project aims at supporting small ventures undertaken by citizens. The loans are long-term administered on a no-profit basis.
c) The project is highly received by women as it enables them to develop their small ventures and raise their standard of living.

6. Host Services Project :
Established in 1999 and launched in 2001.
It aims at raising the standard of living of women who participate in this programme through offering host services to the families in Bahrain on different occasions.


Ensuring jobs for women :

AWS seeks to expand the project to cover all the areas of the Kingdom of Bahrain.


7. Supporting the Palestinian People :

a) AWS has been supporting the Palestinians since its establishment in 1970.
b) Supporting the Palestinians during both Intifadas – 1989 and 2001.
c) Publishing a book on the Palestinian children titled “Who Protects the Land of Childhood?”
d) Holding a competition for the Bahraini students to write letters to the Palestinian child.
e) The letters were published in a book, “A Letter to the Palestinian Child”, in 2001.
f) Permanent support scheme for the Palestinian people with effect from 2002.
g) Holding a number of charity events to support the Palestinians and market the Palestinian products.
h) Publishing posters and participating in protest marches against the Zionist enemy.


8. Cultural, Social, and Sports Programmes :

a) Holding cultural weeks.
b) Holding different levels of classes for promoting the abilities of the students.
c) Holding parties for distinguished students.
d) Holding charity markets and training programmes for women.
e) Organising physical fitness and yoga programmes for women.
f) Participating in some matches of basketball and volleyball in some Arab countries.


9. Mechanisms of work :

a) AWS is a voluntary institution. Its budget depends on contributions and endowments. AWS employs some women to execute office work on monthly salaries. AWS co-ordinates with some ministries to execute some joint projects.
The administration body of AWS includes the president, deputy president, secretary, treasurer, and some administration members. The members of AWS form the General Assembly.
AWS co-operates with other similar societies to implement some joint projects in Bahrain and abroad.

b) AWS is a member of the following organisations :
- Arab Women Union (since 1975)
-  Democratic Women Union (since 1970)
-  Arab Family Organisation (since 1975)
-  Founding member of the Gulf and Peninsula Coordination Committee for Women Work (since 1981)
-  Founding member of Arab Non-Governmental Organisations Network for Development (since 1996)
-  Founding member of Women Court: The Arab Court to Resist Violence Against Women (since 1996)
- Member of Arab Civil Society Network (since 1999)

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