This Shabbat, as we slow down, disconnect, and enjoy the day with family and friends, we also have the opportunity to spend some time to reflect on the status of women at home and abroad.
On March 8, we observe International Women’s Day (IWD), a global day set aside to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. Established by the United Nations, this date falls during Women’s History Month, a month-long effort to amplify women's voices.
International Women’s Day asks us not only to consider broad issues of women’s equality around the world, but to also reflect on our own lives and those of our mothers, sisters, daughters, spouses, cousins, and friends.
International Women’s Day is not about hypothetical women’s equality; it’s about real, tangible justice.
Jewish tradition teaches us that “You shall have one law for the stranger and the citizen alike: for I the Eternal am your God” (Leviticus 24:22). Any disparity based on race, gender, or sexual orientation violates this concept. Only when we work together, hand in hand, can we ensure that women are paid fairly, treated justly, and have equal access to opportunities.
Here are three ways to commemorate International Women’s Day and fight for women’s equality all year long:
1. Learn about policy issues through a Reform Jewish lens.
There are many important policy angles through which we can address women’s equality, as outlined by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC). From pay equity and reproductive rights to paid sick days and preventing gender-based violence, the Reform Movement prioritizes women’s rights.
Want to stay involved? Follow the RAC on social media and subscribe to their emails for updates on the issues that matter most to you and ways to take direct action.
2. Advocate for reproductive freedom.
Check out the RAC's reproductive health and rights page to learn about the Reform Movement's stance on reproductive healthcare. You can also find a current listing of proposed legislation on the page and use the RAC’s easy, pre-written action alert template to contact your representatives. Writing to Congress is as easy as typing in your name and address!
3. Support Women of Reform Judaism.
Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ) has long been a powerful guiding force behind the Reform Jewish community’s dedication to equality in Jewish life and in our secular lives.
In “From Suffrage to Hobby Lobby,” former WRJ president, Rabbi Marla Feldman, writes, “As Jewish women deeply committed to the values of Judaism, we have played a critical role as agents of progress and change.” To lend your support to the WRJ’s vital work, you can become a member or donate now.
The CCAR passed a resolution in 2023 which affirmed the rights of transgender and gender-expansive individuals, including trans women.
Want to learn more about racial equity, diversity, and inclusion? Check out our upcoming REDI workshops!