Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo will honor a group of extraordinary women with the 2020 Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage (IWOC) Award.  First Lady Melania Trump will deliver remarks at the ceremony, which will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 at the Department of State.

Established in 2007, this annual award honors women around the world who have demonstrated exceptional courage, strength, and leadership to bring positive change to their communities, often at great personal risk and sacrifice.  To date, under the IWOC program, the U.S. Department of State has recognized 134 women from 73 countries.  This year will bring the total to 146 awardees from 77 countries.  All awardees have advocated for the protection of human rights, promoted the advancement of the status of women, and fostered peace and government transparency around the world.

The names and bios of the recipients of the 2020 awards will be announced on March 2.

The ceremony will be open to the press and streamed live on Follow @StateDept on Twitter and use the hashtags #IWOC2020 and #WomenOfCourage to stay updated on the event and the honorees. Following the IWOC ceremony, the 12 awardees will participate in an International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) and meet with American counterparts in various cities throughout the country before reconvening in Los Angeles for the conclusion of their IVLP program.

Due to security considerations, preset time for video cameras is 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 3 from the 23rd Street Entrance.  Final access time is at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 4 from the 23rd Street Entrance.

Media representatives may attend the ceremony upon presentation of one of the following: (1) A U.S. Government-issued identification card (Department of State, White House, Congress, Department of Defense, or Foreign Press Center), (2) a media-issued photo identification card, or (3) a letter from their employer on letterhead verifying their employment as a journalist, accompanied by an official photo identification card (driver’s license, passport).

For further information on this event, please contact the Office of Global Women’s Issues ( or the Office of Press Relations (

U.S. Department of State

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