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First Lady Melania Trump and the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas A. Shannon will present the 2017 Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage (IWOC) Award today at the Department of State. The ceremony will begin at 11:00 a.m.

International Women of Courage has honored more than 100 courageous women from over 60 countries around the world. This year’s ceremony is meant to showcase and support a group of women who put their personal safety and sometimes lives at risk in order to help improve their communities. The award, now in its 11th year, honors those who have demonstrated exceptional courage, strength, and leadership in acting to advance the lives of others across the globe.

“It will be my great honor to share a stage with these amazing women. Each of the award recipients has overcome incredible odds in her pursuit to change the world and make it better,” said First Lady Melania Trump. “As women, we must continue to stand together with the steadfast goal of making our world safer through acts of collaborative and individual bravery. As we all know, wherever women are diminished, the entire world is diminished with them.”

The First Lady continued, “We need to continue working toward gender empowerment and respect for people from all backgrounds and ethnicities, always remembering that together we are one race – the human race – and each one of us has unique gifts and talents to share with the world.”

The 2017 winners of the IWOC award will be announced by the State Department and the event will be livestreamed on

Please use #WomenOfCourage for news and social media updates about this year’s award.