Meridian Welcomes 10 International Women of Courage Awardees

First Lady Trump With 2018 International Women of Courage Awardees (Photo Credit: U.S. Department of State)

On Friday, March 23 Meridian was honored to take part in recognizing the work of ten remarkable women at the 2018 International Women of Courage (IWOC) Award Ceremony. Since 2007, the United States has honored the courageous efforts of extraordinary women who have demonstrated leadership, resourcefulness, and willingness to sacrifice for others, especially in the promotion of women's rights.

Acting Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Heather Nauert was joined by First Lady of the United States Mrs. Melania Trump in presenting the prestigious award to each of the candidates. Under Secretary Nauert delivered opening remarks before introducing Mrs. Trump, who went on to welcome and congratulate the awardees individually. Photos of the event can be found here, and the video can be viewed here.

"Women’s empowerment is not only a basic fulfillment of human rights, but a strategic investment in our collective future. Women and girls must have the tools they need to succeed and the pathways that they seek opened. That includes a safe environment that promotes their health and also their education." - Acting Under Secretary Heather Nauert

"The women of courage we honor here today are heroes. They're hopes in the countries they call home. They're heroes for the entire world. In recognizing them, we stand for what is right. In telling their stories, we can teach young women and girls all over the world what it means to have courage and to be a hero. Their examples define courage." - First Lady Melania Trump

The day prior to the ceremony, the participants were welcomed at the United States Institute of Peace to take part in a panel discussion and share their stories and insights into advancing social justice initiatives. After being introduced by Ms. Kathleen Kuehnast, Director of Gender Policy and Strategy at USIP, Ms. Roya Sadat (Afghanistan), Ms. Sirikan Charoensiri (Thailand), and Ms. L'Malouma Said (Mauritania)  shared their experiences in their respective nations and discussed challenges ahead before answering a series of questions along with their colleagues.

After a series of professional meetings and cultural programming in Washington, each of the Honorees embarked on their International Visitor Leadership Program. Cities that will be participating in the exchange include Austin, TX; Cleveland, OH; Dallas, TX; Pensacola, FL; Phoenix, AZ; Raleigh, NC; Salt Lake City, UT; San Antonio, TX; and Los Angeles, CA.

Photos from "Overcoming Violence: A Conversation with the International Women of Courage"

See more Photos

Related News