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Deputy Secretary and First Lady Honor Women of Courage

Deputy Secretary Higginbottom and First Lady Michelle Obama Honor 10 Women of Courage

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
March 3, 2014

________________________________________
On March 4, Deputy Secretary Higginbottom will present 10 extraordinary women from 10 countries with the 2014 Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award. First Lady Michelle Obama will join Deputy Secretary Higginbottom and the awardees as a special guest at the morning ceremony at the U.S. Department of State.

The Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award annually 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. Since the inception of this award in 2007, the Department of State has honored 76 women from 49 different countries.

The 2014 awardees are:
Dr. Nasrin Oryakhil, Director, Malalai Maternity Hospital Kabul (Afghanistan)
Ms. Roshika Deo, Feminist and Political Activist, Be the Change Campaign (Fiji)
Bishop Rusudan Gotsiridze, Bishop, Evangelical Baptist Church of Georgia (Georgia)
Dr. Iris Yassmin Barrios Aguilar, Tribunal President, High Risk Court, (Guatemala)
Laxmi, Campaigner, Stop Acid Attacks (India)
Ms. Fatimata Touré, Community activist and Executive Director, Groupe de Recherche, de’Etude, de Formation Femme-Action (Mali)
Dr. Maha Al Muneef, Founder and Executive Director, National Family Safety Program (Saudi Arabia) *To be awarded in absentia
Ms. Oinikhol Bobonazarova, Director, NGO Perspektiva Plus (Tajikistan)
Ms. Ruslana Lyzhychko, EuroMaidan volunteer and People’s Artist of Ukraine (Ukraine)
Ms. Beatrice Mtetwa, human rights lawyer (Zimbabwe)
Full biographies and photos are available here.

Following the award ceremony and meetings with U.S. Government officials and NGO counterparts in Washington, D.C., the honorees will travel as a group to Pittsburgh, then separately to cities across the United States to engage with the American people through an International Visitor Leadership Program. They will visit Denver, Des Moines, Indianapolis, Portland, Dallas, Minneapolis, and Syracuse on their individual programs. The women will reconvene in Chicago to reflect on their visit and discuss ways to work together to improve the lives of women and girls around the world.

The International Women of Courage Award ceremony will be open to credentialed members of the media and livestreamed at www.state.gov. Attendees and those watching the livestream are encouraged to use the Twitter hashtag #IWOC and #IWD when discussing the events.

ENDS

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