On Thursday, March 7, Secretary of State Pompeo will host the Annual International Women of Courage (IWOC) Awards at the U.S. Department of State to honor 10 extraordinary women from around the world. First Lady of the United States Melania Trump will deliver special remarks at the ceremony.
Now in its 13th year, the Secretary of State’s IWOC Award recognizes women around the globe who have demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality, and women’s empowerment, often at great personal risk and sacrifice. Since the inception of this award in March 2007, the State Department has recognized more than 120 women from more than 65 different countries. U.S. diplomatic missions overseas nominate one woman of courage from their respective host countries. The finalists are selected and approved by senior Department officials.
The bios of the 2019 awardees are located here and their names are listed below:
Razia Sultana of Bangladesh
Naw K’nyaw Paw of Burma
Moumina Houssein Darar of Djibouti
Mama Maggie of Egypt
Colonel Khalida Khalaf Hanna al-Twal of Jordan
Sister Orla Treacy of Ireland
Olivera Lakic of Montenegro
Flor de María Vega Zapata of Peru
Marini de Livera of Sri Lanka
Anna Aloys Henga of Tanzania
Congratulations to Olivera Lakic and all of the 2019 International #WomenofCourage! Brava #hrabrazena @OliveraMN! And, cestitam to all the winners!! #WomenOfCourageChallenge https://t.co/nZB5qao0aR pic.twitter.com/N5tWGmJfX6
— Ambassador Judy Rising Reinke (@USAmbMNE) March 6, 2019
Following the official award ceremony and meetings or interviews with government officials, NGOs, media, and others in Washington, DC, IWOC honorees will travel to individual U.S. cities on the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). American organizations and businesses will host IWOC awardees and collaborate with them on strategies and ideas to empower women both in the United States and abroad. The awardees will reconvene in Los Angeles for a closing ceremony before returning to their home countries.
We invite you to use #WomenofCourage for news and updates on this year’s awards. For press inquiries, contact the Office of Press Relations (PAPressDuty@state.gov and 202-647-2492). For ceremony inquiries, please contact the Office of Global Women’s Issues (SGWI_PA@state.gov). For IVLP inquiries, please contact ECA-Press@state.gov.