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In appreciation of International Women’s Day (IWD), The International Olympic Committee has a tradition of celebrating their female heroes of past, present and future. According to March 8, 2013 IOC news, when women competed in the Olympic Games for the first time in 1900, they accounted for just 2 percent of the competitors. At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, this number had increased to 44 per cent. The increase in participation is an example of the positive choices that have opened up to women around the globe.  Denis E. Waitley, an American motivational speaker and writer, consultant and best-selling author perhaps said it best. “There are two primary choices in life; to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.”

Fortunately, in regards to taking a stand and making sacrifices to improve the lives of women, many pioneers chose the latter.  As reported by Internationawomensday.com, in 1908 great unrest and critical debate was occurring amongst women. Women’s oppression and inequality was spurring women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. Then in 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights. Their efforts continued in 1909 when in accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman’s Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on 28 February. Women continued to celebrate NWD on the last Sunday of February until 1913.

On the eve of World War I campaigning for peace, Russian women observed their first International Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February 1913. In 1913 following discussions, International Women’s Day was transferred to 8 March and this day has remained the global date for International Women’s Day ever since.

Since its infancy in the socialist movement, International Women’s Day has grown to become a global day of recognition and celebration across developed and developing countries alike. For many years the United Nations has held an annual IWD conference to coordinate international efforts for women’s rights and participation in social, political and economic processes. 1975 was designated as ‘International Women’s Year’ by the United Nations. Women’s organizations and governments around the world have also observed IWD annually on 8 March by holding large-scale events that honor women’s advancement while reminding all of the continued vigilance and action required ensuring that women’s equality is gained and maintained in all aspects of life.

The United States Embassy in Japan, which celebrates Women’s History Month adds, Women’s History Month is one of the outcomes of a countywide movement in Sonoma County, California, in the 1970s that brought a focus on women into school curricula as well as into the general public’s consciousness. In 1978, the Educational Task Force of the Sonoma County (California) Commission on the Status of Women initiated a “Women’s History Week.” The week of March 8 was chosen since March 8 is International Women’s Day. As word of the movement spread, State Departments of Education across the U.S. initiated similar changes to their curricula, and encouraged celebrations of women’s history as a means of achieving equity in classrooms. In 1987 the National Women’s History Project petitioned the United States Congress to recognize the whole month of March as
National Women’s History Month. Since then, every year the House of Representatives and the United States Senate approve the designation.

FCI appreciates any movement or informative source that helps further women’s ability to make choices to piece by piece create a lifestyle mosaic that allows them to be healthy, happy and fulfilled. Wrestling has long been an avenue for great competition and exercise and we hope women from all sports view it as another competitive option.