Melania Trump Presents Women of Courage Award 2017
Melania Trump Presents Women of Courage Award 2017

The International Women of Courage Award was presented to 13 women today, presided over by First Lady, Melania Trump, and State Department Official, Thomas Shannon.

The Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award is awarded on a yearly basis since 2007 and recognizes women who have shown courage, leadership, and strength while advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality and women’s rights, often at their own personal risk.

Watch the First Lady’s Speech here:

The women being honored this year hail from 13 different countries and varying backgrounds:

  • Sharmin Akter, Activist Against Early/ Forced Marriage, Bangladesh
  • Malebogo Molefhe, Human Rights Activist, Botswana
  • Natalia Ponce de Leon, President, Natalia Ponce de Leon Foundation, Colombia
  • Rebecca Kabugho, Political and Social Activist, Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Jannat Al Ghezi, Deputy Director of The Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq, Iraq
  • Major Aichatou Ousmane Issaka, Deputy Director of Social Work at the Military Hospital of Niamey, Niger
  • Veronica Simogun, Director and Founder, Family for Change Association, Papua New Guinea
  • Cindy Arlette Contreras Bautista, Lawyer and Founder of Not One Woman Less, Peru
  • Sandya Eknelygoda, Human Rights Activist, Sri Lanka
  • Sister Carolin Tahhan Fachakh, Member, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (F.M.A.), Syria
  • Saadet Ozkan, Educator and Gender Activist, Turkey
  • Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, Blogger and Environmental Activist, Vietnam
  • Fadia Najib Thabet, Human Rights Activist, Yemen