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US Top Diplomat, First Lady Honor 'Women of Courage'

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and first lady Melania Trump have presented the State Department's International Women of Courage Awards, lauding women from Burma, Djibouti, Sri Lanka, and Peru among other nations.

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US first lady Melania Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pose with award recipients during the International Women of Courage (IWOC) celebration at the State Department in Washington, U.S., March 7, 2019.

In remarks, Pompeo said the awards are for "standing tall in the face of extraordinary adversity."

First lady Melania Trump receives a salute as she presents an award to Jordanian police officer Colonel Khalida Khalaf Hanna al-Twal during the International Women of Courage (IWOC) celebration at the State Department in Washington, U.S., March 7, 2019.
First lady Melania Trump receives a salute as she presents an award to Jordanian police officer Colonel Khalida Khalaf Hanna al-Twal during the International Women of Courage (IWOC) celebration at the State Department in Washington, U.S., March 7, 2019.

Among the award-winners are Razia Sultana, a Rohingya lawyer who fights for the rights of her people in Burma; Olivera Lakic, an investigative journalist from Montenegro who writes about corruption and organized crime; Flor de Maria Vega, a Peruvian official who oversees environmental prosecutors; and Sister Orla Treacy, an Irish nun who helped start a boarding school in South Sudan.

"Women of courage are everywhere," Pompeo said. "Most will never be honored."

First lady Melania Trump gives an award to Tanzanian lawyer Anna Henga during the International Women of Courage (IWOC) celebration at the State Department in Washington, U.S., March 7, 2019.
First lady Melania Trump gives an award to Tanzanian lawyer Anna Henga during the International Women of Courage (IWOC) celebration at the State Department in Washington, U.S., March 7, 2019.

Melania Trump, who helped hand out the awards, told her audience, "I believe courage is one of the qualities we need most in society. It is what propels us forward. Courage is what divides those who only talk about change from those who actually act to change."

Thursday's event was the thirteenth annual presentation of the International Women of Courage awards. The awards have recognized more than 120 women from around the globe for their courage in the fight for human rights.

On Friday, Melania Trump is expected to join her husband, President Donald Trump, in traveling to Alabama to look at tornado damage in the southern state of Alabama.

Source: VOA News

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