Dr. Rawia Aburabia

Areas of specialization:

Law and Society, Feminist Jurisprudence, International Human Rights Law.

Areas of competence:

Family Law, Muslim Women, Minority Rights, Polygamy,  Israel/Palestine.


Dr. Aburabia have completed her doctoral studies at the faculty of law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in an interdisciplinary doctoral program “Human Rights under Pressure- Ethics, Law and Politics” that was jointly held by the Hebrew University and the Freie Universität Berlin. Aburabia received her Master of Laws in International Human Rights Law from the American University Washington College of Law, Washington, DC. Aburabia was a practicing human rights lawyer, litigated cases before Supreme Court in Israel. 

Dr. Aburabia dissertation, entitled: “Personal Status Laws of Palestinian Bedouin Women: Colonized by the Law,” presents an intersectional socio-legal reading of the regulation of polygamy among the Bedouin community in three major arenas: the colonial legal system during the British Mandate, the post-colonial legislation in the Israeli period (1951-1959,) and the Shari’a court in Beersheba (2008-2016). Drawing on colonial theory, Aburabia’s work has offered a new conceptual framework for understanding personal status laws of Palestinian Bedouin women in Israel as a political paradigm steeped in British colonial legacies. 

As an interdisciplinary scholar who is engaged with post-colonial and feminist theories to understand the law as a paradigm for the political in the Israeli society, with special focus on minorities and Muslim women’s citizenship.  Her current research project seeks to further expand these areas of interest and competence by exploring bigamous marriage involving Palestinian and Israeli spouses.  The research seeks to explore and comprehensively theorize the notion of “politics beyond the state” to establish the connection between the Israeli policy of control that operate similarly towards all Palestinians, across the borders, the rule of law of an occupying power, and the gendered aspects of it.

Dr. Aburabia have received several awards for her academic and feminist work. She was a fellow in the Arian de Rothschild Program for outstanding doctoral students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She received the NA’AMAT award for an outstanding doctoral research proposal for the advancement of gender equality and gender studies. Aburabia was selected by 972 Magazine “Person of the Year: Woman Activists of the Arab World” (2011) and by Haaretz 66 list of Women you should know (2014). Aburabia was recently selected by Globes Magazine “40 under 40” most promising young leaders in Israel (2018).


Rawia Aburabia, “Towards a hybrid paradigm of Polygamy in Israeli Law -a reflexive journey following the work of Richard T. Ford”. Ma’asei Mishpat 11 (Forthcoming 2020) (Hebrew)

Rawia Aburabia, “Family, Nation Building and Citizenship: The Legal Representation of Muslim Women in the Ban against Bigamy Clause -1951” Journal of Law and Religion Vol 34 (3) (2019)

Rawia Aburabia, “Trapped Between National Boundaries and Patriarchal Structures: Palestinian Bedouin Women and Polygamous Marriage in Israel”. Journal of Comparative Family Studies XLVIII(3) (2017).

Rawia Aburabia, “Redefining Polygamy among the Palestinian Bedouins in Israel: Colonialism, Patriarchy and Resistance”. American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy and the Law 19(1), ( 2011)

Rawia Aburabia, “Realties and Challenges of the Right to Education for Arab-Bedouin Girls in Israel”. International Legal Studies Program  Law Journal,  American University Washington College of Law 1(3) (2009)