CAWA is a nonprofit organization that works to connect, support, and empower Arab women in Waterloo Region and Guelph. Our objective from the very start was to be the bridge that connects Arab women to each other and to broader Canadian society. We do this through hosting engaging and relevant events and programs and introducing Arab women to the resources they need. We want to foster a healthy and respectful community of Arab women who empower and inspire each other.


We embrace diversity, tolerance, and acceptance. We treat our people equally and provide equitable opportunities to Arab women and girls, regardless of their backgrounds, religious or political beliefs. We are firmly committed to enhancing the well-being of Arab women in the Waterloo Region and aspire to foster their full integration and participation of Arab women in Canadian society.


For every Arab woman to feel empowered, confident, supported, and encouraged to achieve her hopes, goals, and dreams. 

To provide a safe and supportive network for Arab women by connecting them with resources, providing supporting programs and empowering them to be active, successful community citizens.  CAWA strives to enable Arab women, as well as younger girls, to make a positive impact in their own lives, in the lives of their families and in their community at large





And so, CAWA was born. Asma knew that Arab women in the Waterloo Region needed and deserved a community in which they could feel safe, supported, and understood. They deserved resources and the same chance to succeed as anyone else. 

With a grant from the United Way and the Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation, the "CAWA Community Group" was established in the form of weekly social gatherings.


Asma Alwahsh, an Arab woman from Jordan, immigrated to Canada. She quickly realized the profound disconnect between Arab women in her Waterloo community, as well as the lack of accessible, culturally sensitive, and barrier-free resources and opportunities. 


Asma saw how many women struggled to feel like they belonged in Canadian society. She saw first-hand how many women couldn’t find employment because of their broken English. She saw how many women struggled to find answers to questions they had because, most of the time, they didn’t know who to ask. She saw how many women felt isolated in a new country thousands of miles away from their families and friends. 


CAWA became an officially registered and recognized nonprofit organization in Canada, referred to then as the Arab Women of Waterloo Region. 

CAWA has grown to support thousands of women in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, and Guelph, and we hope to continue to increase our outreach. Changing our name to reflect our goal and mission of inclusiveness within our community, we are now known as the Canadian Arab Women's Association.