Women & Havdalah: A Summary of Laws


  1. Women may not eat or drink prior to Havdala, just like men.
  2. Women can either fulfill their obligation to hear Havdala through listening to the Havdala of another person or through saying it themselves, just as is the law by men. However, if a man has already fulfilled the obligation of Havdala he may not repeat Havdala for women that did not yet hear Havdala unless there is a man who is also fulfilling his obligation with this Havdala. Therefore, in cases where such a man is not present, a woman must make Havdala herself.
  3. A man cannot fulfill his obligation of Havdala from a woman, but another woman can.
  4. When a woman hears Havdala from someone else, it is better for her to be Yotzei and only listen (but not recite) the blessings of Besamim and Meorei Haeish. (Nonetheless, those women who are accustomed to recite them to themselves have upon whom to rely upon.) However, when a woman is the one making Havdala, she is to recite these two blessings. {See the link below}
  5. The custom is that women do not look at the nails, although they are required to be within view of the flame, and be close enough to benefit from its light. {See the link below}
  6. When a woman makes Havdala she must drink the wine. Otherwise, the custom (in general) is that women do not drink from the left-over wine of Havdala.
  7. If a woman cannot say Havdala over wine she can use grape juice (preferably), or warm tea or coffee. Alternatively, she can say Havdala over wine and give it to another woman or girl who are being yotze to drink, (but not to a boy since he may not be yotze havdala from her).


See here:

Halacha2go.com article #299: Havdalah for Women

Do Women Make a Bracha on the Fire by Havdalah?