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On March 14, 2022 at 10 a.m. EDT, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken will host the 16th annual International Women of Courage (IWOC) Ceremony, which will feature remarks from First Lady . Jill Biden, the United States Representative to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield, and other senior State Department officials. Each year, the U.S. Department of State honors women from around the world who have demonstrated exceptional courage, strength, and leadership in acting to improve the lives of others. This award brings international attention and shines a light on women and girls who have put their personal safety, and often their lives, at risk to improve their communities and inspire fellow citizens.

Since 2007, the Department has recognized more than 170 awardees from over 80 countries. The women are nominated by U.S. diplomatic missions overseas and finalists are selected by the Secretary of State. This year, the Department is honoring a group of 12 inspiring women. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s ceremony will be held virtually, and attendees are encouraged to watch the ceremony live at

2021 IWOC Ceremony (Photo Credit: State Department Photo)

Following the ceremony, the awardees will participate in an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) Virtual exchange, during which they will connect with American counterparts from across the country and meet with community leaders in their respective fields. The IVLP will provide professional development opportunities and connect the IWOC awardees with American universities, businesses, non-profit organizations, and others, as they discuss the challenges facing women and girls around the world.

Gender equity and equality and the empowerment of women and girls, in all their diversity, are central tenets of U.S. foreign policy and national security. The United States is dedicated to advancing the health, economic, political, and human rights of all women and girls, because we know that when women are empowered, the world benefits.

Read the media note announcing the 2022 International Women of Courage Recipients .

Visit our website here to learn more about the awardees for the 15th annual International Women of Courage.

About the Author: Katherine A. Zitzer is a Regional Advisor in the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State.

U.S. Department of State

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