This is a day of recognition for women and their achievements celebrated on March 8th of every year. It was originally called International Working Women’s Day and began as a socialist event. It has been recognized throughout Europe and other nations. It was strongest in the former Soviet bloc nations. The reason socialist had this event was to highlight women’s contribution to revolution and their role in the political future. The earliest observance of International Women’s Day was in 1909, in commemoration of the 1908 strike by International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union. Currently, the observance is used to raise public awareness of women’s rights and issues across the globe. The United Nations continues to use the observance as a platform to make women’s rights an international agenda. The observance is an official holiday in the following countries : Angola, Afghanistan, Russia, Burkina Faso, China, Cuba, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Vietnam, Zambia, Madagascar, Laos, Moldova, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Uganda, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Georgia, and Armenia. There are also more nations who observe, but not as an official holiday.
There is an emphasis on empowerment that needs to be fulfilled. These range from areas of education, economics, and political rights. Women must have all of these things to be safe and secure in society. The element that is missing from this is empowerment of the body. This means having reproductive rights and control of ones healthcare. Beyond that means women should be allowed to develop themselves not just mentally, but physically as well. They should be able to have the same access to sports and physical activity as males do. They should not be subject to discriminatory practices or be scrutinized for an appearance that displeases some people. Physically strong women should be accepted as women. The right to physical skills and development are essential. Physical activity prevents major health issues. For women building bone mass can prevent osteoporosis later in life. Women can overcome the negative body image messages promoted by the mass media and gain a new sense of self confidence. The most important aspect of this is that it makes sports less male dominated. If women are to have full equality, they must be given access to all areas of public life. Sports should no longer be considered a male only activity.
The 2012 Olympics saw the highest level of female participation ever. It should be expected that more will be coming as athletes as new talent emerges. Most recognize that political and social inequality has no justification and people who promote such oppression are extremists. It is unacceptable that women are still seen as anomalies in the sports world. The most successful are ostracized by a highly controlled media, who want to maintain a traditionalist status quo. Women can be political leaders, owners of businesses , and educators, but there is still objection to women being physically powerful. This attitude will change eventually, but for now most people are closed minded. However, there will always be supporters of women’s sports and strength. Celebrate International Women’s Day by aiding women’s sports in any way you can.