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IWOC Awards

Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award

2023 IWOC Award Ceremony

Since the inception of the International Women of Courage (IWOC) Award in March 2007, the U.S. Department of State has recognized more than 180 women in 80 countries.

Now in its 17th year, the Secretary of State’s IWOC Award recognizes women from around the world who have demonstrated exceptional courage, strength, and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equity and equality, and the empowerment of women and girls, in all their diversity, and more, often at great personal risk and sacrifice.

In a typical year, the IWOC awardees are invited to Washington D.C. to receive their awards from the Secretary of State and the First Lady in a 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 Programs (IVLP) exchanges. 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.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of State is happy to announce this year’s ceremony will take place in-person at the White House. You can meet the 2023 International Women of Courage and explore their stories here.

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