International Agunah Day was established by the International Coalition for Agunah Rights (ICAR) in 1990 to raise awareness to the difficulty of the Agunah. It is observed on the 13th of Adar which in the Jewish calendar is the Fast of Esther. An agunah literally means "anchored" or "chained" and describes when a Jewish woman is stuck in her religious marriage due to Jewish law that prevents a women from getting a divorce without her husbands permission. Not only does this happen when a man disagrees, but also if he is unable to grant her the divorce. Sometimes a man would leave on a journey and not return or went to battle never to come back.
A special document known as a get is needed for end a religious marriage and according to Jewish law, a man must grant his wife this get out of his own free will. Without the get, no new marriage will be recognized and any children from the new marriage will be seen as illegitimate.
Those who initiated this day believe that it is a violation of human rights to not grant a religious divorce. It also goes against modern views of equality, personal freedom, and happiness. Every day and especially on International Agunah Day, ICAR works to have this issue recognized by the public and advocates for change through media coverage, political lobbying, and public information campaigns.