Our mission is to promote and provide access to education for the many unprivileged Muslim women in the US. We recognize that if you educate a women, you educate her family and her community.
The Muslim Women’s Association is a nonprofit, nonpartisan Washington, D.C.-based organization founded in 1960. We work with area embassies to fundraise for educational scholarships for Muslim women around the world.
In 1959, Mrs. Begum Shereen Aziz Ahmed moved to Washington, D.C. with her husband, H.E. Aziz Ahmed, to begin his posting as Pakistani Ambassador to the United States, Mexico and Cuba. Shortly after arriving, Mrs. Ahmed realized that there were no organizations in the area that sought to support Muslim women and their families. In 1960, with the help of her friends, Mrs. Ahmed established the Muslim Women’s Association of Washington, D.C. to help preserve and educate the community on Islamic cultures and traditions.
Mrs. Ahmed was born into a well-known Muslim family with ancestors in both the Nawab and Kanatic tribes. Prior to arriving in Washington, she became one of the few women of her time to obtain a Master’s Degree in English. After completing her prestigious education, she worked to create opportunities for others and founded a school in Dacca where she taught English and Music. In addition to her teachings, she wrote articles and papers that gave a glimpse into Pakistan’s society and customs in the 1960s under the pseudonum, Hi Fi.
While in Washington, she also founded the Friends of Pakistan organization, and was the head of the Third Committee (Pakistan) at the United Nations. She was an accomplished pianist and worked diligently as a diplomat’s wife.
Mrs. Ahmed passed away on January 7, 2005 at the age of 92. She was delighted to know that both of the organizations she founded remained active and in support of women throughout the community.
To date, we have successfully supported nearly 100 young Muslim women in the greater Washington, DC, area in pursuing higher education. By helping these young leaders gain access to education, the MWA not only helps them achieve their own personal goals of a better future, but also helps promote cross-cultural and religious exchange and dispel cultural and religious misconceptions.
Besides the annual Muslim Women’s Bazaar at the Islamic Center of Washington, D.C., for which we receive tremendous publicity and press support every year, we also host monthly events at area embassies and at members’ homes. Using the embassy facilities provided by the gracious ambassadors, we arrange fashion shows, lectures, and luncheons to fundraise for our scholarship program.