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International Women’s Day (March 8th)

This is an archive of prayers composed for, or relevant to, International Women’s Day (יוֹם הַנָּשִׁים הַבֵּין־לְאֻמִּי Yom ha-Nashim ha-Ben Leumi).

International Women’s Day is a global holiday celebrated annually on March 8 to commemorate the cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements of women. It is also a focal point in the women’s rights movement, bringing attention to issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women.

Spurred on by the universal female suffrage movement that had begun in New Zealand, International Women’s Day originated from labor movements in North America and Europe during the early 20th century. The earliest version was purportedly a “Women’s Day” organized by the Socialist Party of America in New York City February 28, 1909. This inspired German delegates at the 1910 International Socialist Women’s Conference to propose “a special Women’s Day” be organized annually, albeit with no set date; the following year saw the first demonstrations and commemorations of International Women’s Day across Europe. After women gained suffrage in Soviet Russia in 1917 (the beginning of the February Revolution), International Women’s Day was made a national holiday on March 8; it was subsequently celebrated on that date by the socialist movement and communist countries. The holiday was associated with far-left movements and governments until its adoption by the global feminist movement in the late 1960s. International Women’s Day became a mainstream global holiday following its adoption by the United Nations in 1977.

☞ If you have composed a prayer for International Women’s Day, please share it.

Looking for something else?

For prayers offered composed for, or relevant to, Mother’s Day in the United States, go here.

For prayers offered composed for, or relevant to, Yom ha-Ém in the State of Israel, go here.

Andachtsübung einer Mutter | Devotional exercise of a mother, a teḥinah by Yehoshua Heshil Miro (1829)

בְּנדּיגֿ טוּ שַנט…קִי פִֿיש מִי פְינַה | Blessed are you…who made me a woman, a variation of the morning blessing for Jewish women in Judeo-Provençal (ca. 14-15th c.)