17 March 1969

Golda Meir becomes the first female Prime Minister of Israel.

Golda Meir was an Israeli stateswoman and politician who played a significant role in the establishment and early history of the State of Israel. She was born Golda Mabovitch on May 3, 1898, in Kiev, Ukraine (then part of the Russian Empire), and her family immigrated to the United States in 1906, settling in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

In her early years, Meir became involved in Zionist activism, eventually moving to British Mandate Palestine (now Israel) in 1921. She joined the Labor Zionist movement and became deeply involved in political and social work. Meir quickly rose through the ranks of the Labor Zionist leadership and held various positions within the Zionist movement.

During Israel’s formative years, Meir held several key government positions, including Minister of Labour and Foreign Minister. She was known for her dedication to socialist principles and her pragmatic approach to politics. Meir played a crucial role in negotiating arms deals and diplomatic agreements, particularly during her tenure as Foreign Minister.

One of Meir’s most notable achievements was becoming the fourth Prime Minister of Israel in 1969, a position she held until 1974. She was the first and, to date, only woman to hold the office in Israel. As Prime Minister, Meir faced numerous challenges, including the Yom Kippur War in 1973, during which Israel was attacked by Egypt and Syria. Her leadership during this crisis earned her both praise and criticism.

Meir’s tenure as Prime Minister was marked by a commitment to Israeli security and the promotion of Zionism. However, her government faced criticism for its handling of various domestic and foreign policy issues, including the handling of Palestinian nationalism.

After resigning as Prime Minister in 1974, Meir remained active in Israeli politics until her death on December 8, 1978. She left behind a legacy as one of Israel’s founding leaders, a trailblazer for women in politics, and a symbol of resilience and determination in the face of adversity. Her autobiography, “My Life,” provides further insight into her remarkable life and career.