On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the United States hosted the 17th annual International Women of Courage (IWOC) Awards.
Since the inception of the IWOC Award in March 2007, the U.S. Department of State has recognized more than 180 women in 80 countries.
The 2023 IWOC 11 women leaders awardees from around the world were honored for their local communities and countries playing a role for promoting the human rights of members of marginalized communities, protecting the rule of law, informing the public from the center of conflicts, and advancing women’s leadership and gender equality.
The 2023 IWOC awardees join a cohort of more than 180 women, from more than 80 countries, who live their lives in the service of others – regardless of the personal risks and sacrifices – as International Women of Courage.
The then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice created the International Women of Courage award in 2007 to recognize International Women of Courage who are leading the charge for progress around the world.
Secretary Antony J. Blinken spoke at the 17th Annual International Women of Courage (IWOC) Awards Ceremony adding that, “This year, for the first time, we honor the awardees here at the White House – and that really is a reflection of just how highly President Biden, the First Lady, and this administration prioritize gender equality and human rights.”
And that includes this year’s honorees: 11 truly extraordinary people– Dr. Zakira Hekmat – Afghanistan, Ms. Alba Rueda – Argentina, Professor Danièle Darlan – Central African Republic, Ms. Doris Ríos – Costa Rica, Meaza Mohammed – Ethiopia, Ms. Hadeel Abdel Aziz – Jordan, Bakhytzhan Toregozhina – Kazakhstan, Senator Datuk Ras Adiba Radzi – Malaysia, Brigadier General Bolor Ganbold – Mongolia, Mrs. Bianka Zalewska – Poland, Mrs. Yuliia Paievska – Ukraine.
Likewise, Madeleine K. Albright Honorary Group International Women of Courage Award goes to women and girls in Iran, who in the wake of the brutal killing of Mahsa Amini – have inspired us all.
The function was attended by Ambassadors from across the globe and various other distinguished personalities.