Since the inception of this award in March 2007, the Department of State has recognized more than 155 women from over 75 countries.
Now in its 15th year, the Secretary of State’s IWOC Award recognizes women from 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.
In a typical year, the awardees are invited to Washington D.C. to receive their awards from the First Lady and the Secretary of State in a gala ceremony held on or in proximity to International Women’s Day (March 8th). The recipients then travel across the United States to participate in specially designed International Visitor Leadership Program
s (IVLP) experiences. Their IVLP visits culminate with a dinner hosted by American Women for International Understanding (AWIU), who also provides the awardees with special grants to continue their work at home.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s ceremony, IVLP, and AWIU event are hosted virtually. We encourage you to meet the 2020 awardees and explore their stories.