2019 International Women of Courage Award


Secretary Pompeo (Mar. 7): "This year’s recipients include an anti-terror investigator from Djibouti who has put away numerous al-Shabaab terrorists; a Bangladeshi Rohingya lawyer who fights the abuse of trafficking of the Rohingya women and girls; an investigative journalist in Montenegro exposing corruption and organized crime who has been attacked multiple times, yet still continues her work; a Tanzanian lawyer who fights for human rights for women and girls and advocates for more female candidates for public office; a nun from Ireland who helped start a girls’ boarding school in South Sudan, which has become a beacon of hope for girls who might otherwise be denied education and forced to enter early marriages; a chief of the women’s police department in Jordan who’s been recognized for her work with victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse; a leader of a nationwide NGO in Egypt that serves the most impoverished urban slums and rural villages; an activist in Burma who has worked her entire life to support ethnic community displaced by the decades-long civil war; a crusader against child exploitation in Sri Lanka who offers pro bono legal services to child victims of crimes; and finally, Peru’s national coordinator for environmental prosecutors, who fights multibillion dollar criminal enterprises that fuel corruption, human trafficking, and destruction of natural resources in the Amazon." Full Text»


On March 7, Secretary Pompeo hosted the Annual International Women of Courage (IWOC) Awards at the State Department to honor 10 extraordinary women from around the world. First Lady Melania Trump delivered special remarks at the ceremony.

Now in its 13th year, the Secretary of State’s IWOC Award 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 and sacrifice. Since the inception of this award in March 2007, the State Department has recognized more than 120 women from more than 65 different countries. U.S. diplomatic missions overseas nominate one woman of courage from their respective host countries. The finalists are selected and approved by senior Department officials. The bios of the 2019 awardees are located here and their names are listed below:

  • Razia Sultana of Bangladesh
  • Naw K’nyaw Paw of Burma
  • Moumina Houssein Darar of Djibouti
  • Mama Maggie of Egypt
  • Colonel Khalida Khalaf Hanna al-Twal of Jordan
  • Sister Orla Treacy of Ireland
  • Olivera Lakic of Montenegro
  • Flor de Maria Vega Zapata of Peru
  • Marini de Livera of Sri Lanka
  • Anna Aloys Henga of Tanzania